FRIENDSHIP DIFFICULTIES

Children who have experienced trauma often have difficulties forming, maintaining and navigating the dynamics of friendships as frequently the child aims to avoid a sense of intimacy or vulnerability in order to protect themselves from potential threat, fear and powerlessness. Children may be inappropriate or withdrawn from others as they try to keep their guard up.  

This could lead to an increased sense of isolation as people perceive that the child is rejecting, dismissive or uninterested, which can exacerbate this symptom.

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WHAT ARE THE MOST HELPFUL THINGS WE CAN DO?

  • Find out if there is a toy, game or hobby that the child enjoys and see if you can buddy someone with them to help them feel like they fit in with others

  • Provide warm, empathetic, kind and engaging relational experiences with the child.

  • Role model kind and positive relationships around the child through noticing and affirming positive attributes within others and within them personally