Children Who See Too Much: Lessons from the Child Witness to by Betsy Mcalister Groves

By Betsy Mcalister Groves

For the final ten years Betsy Groves has been operating with young ones traumatized by means of witnessing violence. during this publication she indicates how kids comprehend, reply to, and are plagued by violence, particularly household violence. Groves makes the robust case that demanding occasions performed via kinfolk hold the main critical mental dangers for terribly children. She makes use of medical case reviews to teach that being younger doesn't defend opposed to the lasting results of witnessing violence, and he or she bargains methods adults can assist.

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Additional info for Children Who See Too Much: Lessons from the Child Witness to Violence Project

Example text

We never heard from her again. I had wondered at the time about the real motivation for her interest in our program. Now I knew. She needed to be able to tell her story, and she needed a listener who could bear to hear it with her. Carol gives us an adult’s perspective of how an overwhelmingly frightening event permanently changes the landscape for a person. Lenore Terr, one of the most widely known researchers in the area of children and trauma, also writes about this phenomenon. 2 The specifics of the kidnapping were memorable (and later made into a TV movie): Three men commandeered a busload of twenty-six children as the bus was on its way to a summer camp program in Chowchilla, California, a small farm town in the San Joaquin Valley.

Certain elements of a frightening event may be particularly scary to young children but would not affect us as adults. For example, I saw a three-year-old child in our program whose parents fought constantly. Sometimes the fights ended with her father pushing or shoving the mother. When I asked the child to tell me what happened when her mom and dad had a fight, she replied that the balloons popped. I did not understand this response so I asked her to tell me about the balloons. She again told me that the balloons popped and she demonstrated how loud this noise was.

We have seen children who witnessed suicides and those who were in fires. The common bond for these children is that they are the bystanders to horrifying and dangerous acts, and that their world has been forever changed. However, just as we have learned about how children are changed by these events, we have also learned about what helps them withstand the horror and what resources children have to help them in the face of great fear. The subsequent chapters of this book will tell the story, both of what happens to young children as a result of being exposed to overwhelmingly frightening events and also of what we as adults can do to help them.

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