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Helping our youth...and not-so-young

Despite parents' best effort to protect their children, they do experience painful situations and even trauma. Even some event that seems perfectly normal for an adult can be a trauma for a youth. Remember: it’s not the event that makes it traumatic but the relationship, the intention we have in regards to the event.

What does Traumatic Incident Reduction do? It allows the youth to ‘process’ what happened, not suppress it or block it. It then prevents the memories, as they grow into adulthood, to multiply into unconscious connections between various incidents. Getting relief for youth from this method is usually faster than for an adult. They are often more capable of contacting buried events. Simply put, there is a shorter ‘life track’ to travel. (to learn more about “the Net” read )

The best gift anyone can give to a loved one, a friend, a co-worker is the gift of listening. And the positive impact of it is especially important with our children. We will automatically say that this is what we offer people around us, but the truth is, we have a hard time to REALLY LISTEN; without judgment, without interrupting, without telling our own story. I love this youtube "how to tame your advice monster". If you can, take the time to watch it.

I’ve just read the book “The Joy thief! A story of Trauma and Hope” written by Sean McCallum. It explains to kids why we sometimes carry something difficult with us. At the same time, it illustrates how the response of the significant adult in their life may have a tremendous effect that the youth will carry on with them. I invite you to read this book. Especially if you're a parent, grand parent, an educator or working with young people.

So I’ve decided to share with you THE gift. It may be sufficient for the event “not to stick” with your child.

Knowing how to listen….helping, really helping by saying nothing!

Attitude and reactions:

*Just nod so he/she knows you are listening and understanding. No, it doesn't mean you approve. We're just in listening mode.

*If her/his attention still seems to be on what happened, ask if she/he wants to retell it

*Listen without interrupting, without fixing the situation, without telling your story, without sharing your point of view.

*Listen until his/her attention is on the present moment. Do not force him/her to continue talking about it.

Although being silent is often enough, here are a few possible questions to ask:

*Do you want to tell me what happened?

*Is there anything else that happened that you would like to tell me?

*what is the worst part for you?

*What were you thinking at the time?

*What do you think about it now?

*Would you like to tell me again?

*Is there anything we need to do about it?

Like always, I don’t know this only from studying it and using it in my private practice but by using it personally in different situations. Try it. You will be amazed!

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