How Trauma Affects Children and Teens | Gentle East Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& BOOK YOUR FREE SESSION🗓️

Our Physical DOORS and DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR SCHEDULE
& BOOK YOUR FREE SESSION🗓️

Our Physical DOORS and DIGITAL DOORS are OPEN! Secure your spot & get started today with our FREE EXCLUSIVE online offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Gentle East Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Erin Elam reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I can’t explain just how amazing this place is! My daughter was born at just 23 weeks, 1lb. She just turned 3, and is doing well but had a long bumpy road. With said, she has some visual impairments, mild cerebral palsy, and severe anxiety issues. We are four classes in now, and although my daughter cries each time we get to the school, the instructors (every single one) ALWAYS treat her like their own and take their time with her. She comes out of class so happy and oh so proud of herself! They do not treat her differently because of her impairments, they are all patient and kind, and above all understanding. We are BEYOND pleased with GEMA, and the staff to include the wonderful families we have met. Thank you GEMA for creating a better world for my daughter!

Marc Grenier reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

An awesome martial arts school that truly cares.

Hillary Hogan reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I have had a blast. I look forward to continuing to learn each form.

Sharon Takai reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We love the instructors and family atmosphere! Thank you!

Kathryn Carson reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I've tried a bunch of martial arts over the years, but it wasn't until I got to Gentle East that I realized that the art itself doesn't matter so much--it's the attitude of its practitioners. These people aren't learning and teaching how to kill, but how to live. How to live despite trauma and illness, and to keep practicing their art even if it's just in their hearts. The tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and they mean every word. They teach the kids that other dojangs won't. Autistic, physically challenged, special needs, you name it. They're fully engaged with the messy business of life. A whole lot of families are glad that Master Barbara Robinson followed her vision. Ours is one.

Melody D. Choate reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Love, love, love this place! The staff is incredibly kind and supportive, and the family atmosphere is palpable the moment you walk in the door! I am so impressed with the work being done with autism spectrum kids, as well as other kids with physical challenges. No one is made to feel like they don't belong here! I even joined the mommy class and my toddlers are allowed to run around us while we work out. I've lost a few pounds, and gained some amazing (non-judgemental) mom-friends! An oasis of kindness and support in the middle of what is often a 'keep up with the Jones's " area of town.

Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

How Trauma Affects Children and Teens

As we continue to navigate the unchartered waters of the current pandemic, many are looking to the future and what it holds. And while it’s hard to predict how long our current daily life modifications will last, what we do know is that the experience will lead to personal changes that could last for years to come. Trauma can affect people of any age and in varying ways. Children and teens are especially vulnerable since development has not stopped. Understanding the effects of the current pandemic is key in helping them bounce back faster when life returns to “normal.”

Children are, undoubtedly, resilient. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that they won’t suffer after a traumatic event. And while children from homes that were unstable prior to the COVID-19 crisis will be more affected, any child could suffer from symptoms of PTSD following this. During trauma, the brain is inundated with Cortisol, the stress hormone, and changes in the brain can result. This is especially true for children and teens who are still undergoing brain development. And since children are always viewed as resilient, parents and caregivers often miss the signs of stress and, miss out on opportunities to help.

Just as children and teens react to daily events in different ways, they also react to trauma differently. Younger children may exhibit symptoms such as clinginess, increased tantrums, regressive behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking, and stomachaches. Those in the middle childhood stage may become more irritable, have difficulty concentrating, develop irrational fears, and have nightmares. Pre-teens and teens may show signs such as anxiety, loss of interest in activities, being disrespectful, and self-destructive behaviors. It’s important to note, however, that even among the same age groups, reactions to the same event will look different.

The good thing is, not all children and teens will develop long-lasting symptoms following trauma. However, being able to recognize and respond to acute stress is imperative as well. By being attuned and connecting with their children, parents can have an age-appropriate conversation with their children to help them talk about their feelings. Implementing a healthy diet and decreasing sugar intake can also reduce stress. Along with this, role-modeling healthy coping skills will also instill behaviors that will be useful in the future.

After most traumatic events, people rely on their friends, family, and community to help ease the stress. And, although, we can’t be “together” like we usually are, we can still utilize each other. For children and teens, this means keeping some routine things in place to serve as an outlet. Virtual play dates with friends, social media games and virtual sports training can all keep children and teens connected to other friends, other caregivers, and coaches. Keeping them engaged in fun activities will help them build confidence and stay connected to people that love and support them.

The effects of this pandemic will continue long after the reopening of our country and may create long term stamps on generations affected. And while we can’t predict the ways each person will be affected, we must be knowledgeable of the ways trauma presents itself in our children and teens so we can be proactive in our approach and help them bounce back quickly. Preserving connectedness for children and teens to their community will increase their ability to feel secure, even in the midst of uncertainty.