Step 5: Loving Your Traumatized Child Through The Pain

Love, a controversial word, that seems almost taboo at times.  Especially as a professional who works with children and families.  We are taught not to tell our clients that we love them.  We are taught not to hug a child.  All of this is fear-based of course.  Fear that we will hurt a child and the family will in turn sue us.


I say…LOVE ANYWAY!  Rarely, do I spend hours with a child and family, exploring the depths of pain and attachment, and NOT fall in love with them.  I can’t help it.  When you sit with people during their pain, there has to be love involved for healing to occur.


Most people want love to be logical.  We work and live with traumatized children.  It’s a rare occasion when logic is involved.  Children feel at a primal level.  They react and respond from a place we won’t understand.


That’s why LOVE is crucial to healing.  Love is more than a feeling or a thought.  Love is action.  Love is how we respond when a child is pushing us to the limit.  Love is our foundation and understanding for how we parent.  Love is what we do when we repair relationships after we have screwed up big time.


Here are a few strategies for loving your child through their pain.

1.  H.O.P.E.:  Hold On Past the Emotion!  Children have big emotions.  Traumatized children have even bigger and more intense emotions!  When we maintain and hold that space with our children, they feel safe, trust and attachment strengthen, and we are one more step towards our children accepting the love we share.


2.  The Golden Rule!  Treat your kiddo how you would want to be treated in the midst of a crisis.  Is yelling and controlling helpful to you?  Not usually.  Instead, remain calm and honor the space that your child is in.


3.  Be aware of your blueprint.  Sometimes we have mixed up feeling about “love” and what it means.  Not all of us had great messages of love as we were growing up.  We must be aware of this and then seek to send loving, congruent messages of love to our children.


4.  Love Yourself.  When we role model loving ourselves, we demonstrate for our children how they can love themselves.  Most kids are figuring out their self-esteem.  Many traumatized children have had an event, or several events, that have impacted that self-esteem.  Loving yourself will help our children understand how to love themselves.


I’m eager to hear more about how you incorporate love into your life.  Leave me a comment or send me an email at



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