8 Tips for Delivering Trauma-Informed Feedback to Your Child

Children who have experienced trauma often react to both positive and negative feedback a bit differently than other children. Brookes Publishing discusses some ideas for teacher-student interactions on how to give both positive and corrective feedback. These ideas can also translate to how you respond in the home.

For positive feedback, make it:

Low-key and private. Use nonverbal signals like giving a thumbs-up, a hug or, jotting a few words on a sticky note as a signal that they are doing well. As trust grows, feedback can become more specific and public.

Highly genuine and positive. Children with trauma are highly sensitized to anything that feels disingenuous. Find something in a child's set of behaviors that you can authentically notice.

Frequent. Intersperse specific verbal feedback with gestures of approval and other short, positive modes of no-specific feedback. The idea is to help the child become accustomed to positive feedback, to develop trust in you and what you say.

For corrective feedback:

Do a quick redirect when your child misbehaves in small ways.

Tag the behavior with a short, low-key verbalization or gesture, but don't stay around for a debate or power struggle.

Check-in: respond to negative behavior with a question such as Are you okay? Or Can I help you with something?

Separate the behavior from the person: "I heard about the fight. I have seen what efforts you have been making, and I know you are better than this. We will get beyond this; I will be here for you".

Invite self-assessment by asking your child to keep a simple success journal—a bulleted list of short, positive items of any sort—or by graphing positive behaviors.

Trauma often comes unexpectedly and takes time to heal. By using a trauma-informed approach, you signal a sense of awareness and compassion in your child. Ultimately, healing can come sooner as a result of your efforts.

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Thursday, 29 September 2022

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