Children and Trauma: what to expect and what to do

by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

French version

Click here for a two-page printable version for free distribution to parents.


frightened girl

Aletha Solter, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert on attachment and trauma. She wrote this article to help families in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

The advice would be the same for any major trauma. Even if your family has not been directly affected by trauma, simply hearing about frightening events or seeing them on TV can be sufficient to traumatize children.



What to expect

What to do

When to seek professional help


About Aletha Solter

Aletha Solter, PhD, is a developmental psychologist, international speaker, consultant, and founder of the Aware Parenting Institute. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline.

Aware Parenting is a philosophy of child-rearing that has the potential to change the world. Based on cutting-edge research and insights in child development, Aware Parenting questions most traditional assumptions about raising children, and proposes a new approach that can profoundly shift a parent's relationship with his or her child. Parents who follow this approach raise children who are bright, compassionate, competent, nonviolent, and drug free.

For more information about helping children cope with stress and heal from trauma, see Aletha Solter's books, Healing Your Traumatized Child, Tears and Tantrums, and Attachment Play.

Healing Your Traumatized Child
Tears and Tantrums
Attachment Play

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This page was last updated on October 6, 2022. Copyright © 2001 to 2022 by Aletha Solter. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations), without written permission from Aletha Solter, with the exception of printing copies for personal use and for free distribution to parents.

Warning/Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical or psychological advice or treatment. When children display emotional, behavioral, or medical problems of any kind, parents are strongly advised to seek professional advice and treatment. Aletha Solter, The Aware Parenting Institute, and Shining Star Press shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this article.