The German association of psychotherapists (BPTK) has published a website for the parents of refugee children. It contains important information about trauma and children of all age groups.
How can parents help?
When children have to escape to a different country, they might be haunted by dreadful experiences and memories, accompanied by anxiety and feelings of insecurity, even though they are already settled. It is therefore important for parents to:
- give them a sense of security
- show understanding
- make them feel protected
Children should not be pressured to suppress terrible memories. Their memories cannot just be forgotten or pushed aside. To help them work through their trauma, it is important for parents to:
- try not to leave their children alone in a foreign environment
- not interrupt them, for example, when they are re-enacting a particular experience
- cautiously talk to them about the experience when they start to withdraw
If any child is not themselves for several weeks and you just cannot manage to get them back to normal, it is important to seek professional help.
Advice for various age groups
The BPTK website contains useful information for traumatized refugee children of different ages: