Children and Trauma: Equipping Parents and Caregivers
Children can experience trauma from a variety of experiences, including neglect, physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, death of a loved one, bullying, racial trauma, and more. Trauma occurs when children are exposed to an experience perceived as threatening or harmful and respond with intense fear that affects them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb help parents and caregivers recognize the signs of trauma and guide them in stepping into children’s lives and demonstrating Jesus’s care and protection for them. The compassionate and helpful response of parents or caregivers can help children who have experienced trauma to access spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.
Helping children feel connected and loved, giving them opportunities to express what they’re feeling, providing any necessary professional care, and being patient with behavioral outbursts will all go a long way toward helping children heal. Knowing that God sees, cares for, and understands their suffering will help a traumatized child move forward in their healing. Reminding them that one day all pain and suffering will cease can help turn their minds away from anxiety about future trauma and toward promised future peace and joy.
Justin Holcomb, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and apologetics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. Justin is a City Network Leader for Made to Flourish. He serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments), Heart Support, and Leaders Collective. He has authored, coauthored, or edited more than fifteen books on numerous topics, including sexual assault, domestic abuse, biblical studies, and historical theology. He and his wife, Lindsey, coauthored the award-winning children’s book God Made All of Me and God Made Me in His Image.
Lindsey A. Holcomb, MPH, works at Samaritan Village, a safe home and therapeutic program for adult survivors of sex trafficking. She is a former case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence shelter and is the cofounder of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Together, Lindsey and her husband, Justin, conduct a variety of training seminars on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to child, sexual, and domestic abuse. She is also the award-winning coauthor of Is It My Fault?, Rid of My Disgrace, God Made All of Me, and God Made Me in His Image. The Holcombs live in Orlando and are parents of two daughters.