Difficulty Relating

SOCIAL PROBLEMS: A Symptom of Stress and Trauma What does “Social Problems” mean? Having difficulty with relationships, poor boundaries, or trouble making friends. There are lots of reasons for social problems. Trauma can make children feel uncomfortable with other people. Depending on their trauma, they might have learned problematic ways of interacting with people. In […]

Reckless or Destructive Play

DESTRUCTIVE PLAY: A Symptom of Stress and Trauma What does “Destructive Play” mean? Acting out scary events or playing aggressively with toys. Children use play to understand their experiences. This type of play may be a way to manage anxiety and try to understand their trauma. In children aged 2-5 years Recreating traumatic events in […]

Sexualized Behaviors

A Symptom of Stress and Trauma Talking about sex or doing sexual things that are not appropriate for your age. This may be a way to self-soothe or an impulsive behavior. Children that have been exposed to sex or been sexually abused may also re-enact those experiences. For more information, go to the Problematic Sexual […]

Aggression

A Symptom of Stress and Trauma Trying to physically harm other people or yourself. Aggression happens more often when children can’t control their negative emotions and when they have been around violence. In children aged 2-5 years Hitting or pushing Biting Kicking Throwing toys Breaking objects In children aged 6-10 years Hitting, pushing, choking, or […]

Temper Tantrums

TANTRUMS: A Symptom of Stress and Trauma What does “Tantrums” mean? Big emotional reactions and behaviors. Tantrums are a normal part of childhood. After trauma, they may get bigger, happen more often, and be harder to calm. In children aged 2-5 years Yelling, crying, or being physically aggressive Laying down, banging their hands, and screaming […]

Avoidance

A Symptom of Stress and Trauma Actively avoiding things that remind you of a traumatic event. Children might try not to:– Talk or think about it– Feel big emotions – Do things or be around people related to it In children aged 2-5 years Not reaching out for comfort if hurt Refusing to be held, […]

Clinginess

A Symptom of Stress and Trauma Seeking constant or frequent reassurance from a caregiver that you are safe. In children aged 2-5 years Physically clinging or holding onto their caregiver Following their caregiver, including into the bathroom Holding onto a stuffed animal, blanket, or other comforting object or toy. In children aged 6-10 years Wanting […]

PTSD, Fear, and Anxiety

Post-traumatic stress Symptoms of Stress and Trauma What does “Post-Traumatic Stress” mean? Post-traumatic stress is ongoing mental health problems children may have after trauma. These can look very different in younger and older children. In children aged 2-5 years Being easily startled Constant crying or whining Headaches or stomach aches Being scared of going to […]

Regression

A Symptom of Stress and Trauma Regression is acting younger than you typically act. Trauma and stress can make children feel powerless. Children may regress as a way to find comfort in how things were before the event. In children aged 2-5 years Thumb sucking Asking for a bottle Wetting the bed after being fully potty-trained Not […]