Effective communication between you and your child is essential right now. The more open and honest you are able to make your relationship, the safer they will feel to come to you when they are struggling. They’ve had a large breach of trust and it may take some time to build their confidence in opening up to you. As your child feels confident that they can share information with you, and that you will listen and respond in a way that keeps communication open, they are more likely to feel they can come to you.

You may assume that your child is doing well or that they seem to be struggling, but the only way to know for sure is to talk to them. Actively listen to what they want to say, whether it’s about the abuse that took place or something that seems completely unrelated. As your child grows and matures you want to make sure that the way that you’re communicating with them does as well. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their input on how or when they’d like to have communication happen. It may seem like a small thing, but showing them that you are a safe person to talk to—about anything—can make all the difference in the way that they process their trauma.

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