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Helping Kids through Traumatic or Hard Moments- Part 4

April 6, 2013

This is part 4 of 4 in my Helping Kids through Traumatic or Hard Moments series.  Helping Kids through Hard Moments Part 1 gave you five reasons it is important to create a story or narrative for your child after they have experienced a hard moment.  Part 2 helped you understand the important elements to include in the story (facts, negative belief, feeling, true/positive belief).  Part 3 shows an example of how to create a short story using animals for a young child.

This video in part 4 is another example of creating a story for your child after a hard moment.  You’ll notice that this story is more complex and detailed than the story in part 3.  This story was co-created with the child who experienced the hard moment.  The child dictated the story while the adult wrote it down.  The adult was able to capture the child’s misconceptions about the event and correct those beliefs.  By creating the story together, the adult was able to attune to the child and notice which parts of the experience were most scary or disturbing.  You’ll again notice that the story begins with the positive parts of the experience.  The negative/mixed up beliefs and thoughts were identified, along with the feelings that accompanied those beliefs.  The mixed up thoughts were changed into the true or positive thought.  Some of the negative mixed-up thoughts are pretty common- worried about the safety of others, and believing that the child played some role (or had fault) in the experience.

This story isn’t perfect!  Because it was created organically and not for educational purposes, there are some negative beliefs that weren’t attuned to or corrected.  See if you notice these mistakes!  However- be rest assured that despite these mistakes, the story absolutely achieved its purpose of helping to integrate an overwhelming experience.  So, it is OK to make mistakes when creating a story with your child.  This story was read over and over again (at the child’s request).  You can also see how the child began to illustrate the story.  Over the course of a few days, the child lost interest and the project was abandoned.  In this case, the memory has been integrated and the child no longer needed assistance.  The negative symptoms that were being seen completely abated.

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