When a child is injured or traumatized in some way, it’s not unusual for the parents to also experience some emotional impact from the trauma. This is called secondary traumatic stress, or STS, and it’s a form of persistent emotional distress that comes from dealing with your child’s trauma firsthand. STS is more than just feeling burnt out; its signs and symptoms are similar to posttraumatic stress. And parents with their own history of trauma can be especially vulnerable to STS.
The school year is coming to a close and your kids can’t wait for summer. They’re looking forward to staying up late, sleeping in, playing outside and going to the pool. Meanwhile you are thinking ahead, dreading the transition from the structure-less summer to the structure-filled school year and the inevitable challenges for your child once the school year starts. Children often have difficulty adjusting to transitions and some struggle more than others. Luckily, you can reduce the stress of adjusting to a new school year by adding some light structure to your child’s summer schedule.
“We are the children of warriors. And although it was initially a role not of our choosing, it is a role perpetuated by many of us with pride … It is an attitude, a way of being.” (Wertsch, 1991, p. 350)
April is the Month of the Military Child, with purple ribbons signifying support and gratitude to the young family members who sacrifice alongside their military moms and dads. There are nearly two million U.S. military-connected children and adolescents living at home and abroad for overseas assignments. Unlike the careers of many civilians, service in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines affects all aspects of life and has great implications on each family member. For the military child, the lifestyle presents with many opportunities for strength-building and has potential to also create unique challenges.
Since the inception of social media in 1997 with the launch of the social site Six Degrees, internet users have been connecting with each other through cyberspace. And while social media does have some positive influences on society, including allowing us to connect more easily with friends and family, it also has potential negative impacts, especially on kids.
Topics: Mental Health Wellness
Resilience is a word that military families hear often, so often that it may just sound like a modern buzzword tossed out at briefings and townhall meetings. While the term speaks to toughness, the more important meaning is the ability to bounce back, recover, and be flexible. Unfortunately, the latter often gets lost. As both a mental health professional within the military community and a member of the community personally, I too have had my moments of cringing at what seems like the overuse of “resiliency.” And then I met a military family who helped refresh this term for me.
It’s your child’s bedtime and you’re dreading it. Instead of the calm process you wish it was, it’s filled with tears, pleading, and excuses after excuses. Peacefully reading bedtimes stories is a thing of the past while the stubborn phrase “I’m not tired!” is here to stay. Why is your child avoiding going to bed? Is this normal?