What is Trauma?

How much are young children affected by events that take place around them? A lot. Babies are active players in the world. Even though they may not understand the meaning of what they see or hear, children absorb the images that surround them and are deeply impacted by the emotions of the people they rely on for love and security.

What can be considered a traumatic event for a baby or young child?  It is important to remember that what is traumatic for one baby or child may not be traumatic to another.

  • Neglect
  • Drug and/or alcohol use in the home
  • Mental illness in the home
  • Removal from birth family
  • Single Parent caregiver
  • Long-term stress
  • Natural Disaster
  • Community Trauma
  • The birth of a sibling
  • A move to a new state, city or home
  • Loss of a loved one (illness, death, incarceration, divorce)
  • Homelessness
  • Financial Difficulties
  • Domestic Violence

Parents and caregivers play a very important role in helping infants and toddlers cope and recover from traumatic and stressful experiences.

How can I help my child?  Providing young children with sensitive and responsive care takes a lot of emotional and physical energy. But the everyday moments shared between a child and a loved adult can be mutually healing. During difficult and uncertain times, simply finding comfort in each other’s presence is the first step to helping young children cope and heal.  The Infant Learning Program’s trauma-informed providers can support families as they overcome traumatic experiences.

Visit www.zerotothree.org for more information on trauma and development.