Big Bird’s struggling after a confusing and upsetting thing happened, and Alan notices his friend’s having a hard time before Big Bird even says a word. As you watch this video together with children, notice the qualities Alan demonstrates during their conversation. As a supportive, trusted adult, he:
- is patient, comforting, and a good listener
- lets Big Bird know that he’s seen, heard, and cared for
- helps provide a safe, calm environment
- teaches strategies for self-soothing
The presence of a caring adult makes all the difference in the life of a child coping with the effects of trauma. Like Alan, you can communicate messages to children such as:
- You’re not alone. I’m here for you.
- I have some ideas about what we could do to help you feel better.
- I’m listening to you. You matter.
- What you say, feel, and think is important to me.
- Let me help you put some words to your feelings.
- Sometimes problems are too big to handle yourself. It’s smart to ask for help.
- Let’s find a way to help you do or think about things you love.
- Thank you for trusting me.
- I’m interested in you and what’s happening inside you.
- There are other adults who care for you, too.
- It’s great to share a special time together.