PSYCHOLOGY

Is There Any Way To Cure The Effects Of Kidnapping On Your Child? Experts Suggest Some Useful Tips For Parents

Date October 31, 2018 18:58

Everything has consequences. Even such small things like one dropped word or simple touch can have a significant impact on the child’s psyche. A parent can call their child stupid or dumb, and that information may become imprinted in their brain for the rest of the life. Imagine how devastating would be effects of kidnapping? In this article, we are trying to figure out how exactly kidnappings affect children and how to help those who became victims of such an awful crime.

Is There Any Way To Cure The Effects Of Kidnapping On Your Child? Experts Suggest Some Useful Tips For ParentsPhotographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

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Effects of kidnapping: damaged psyche

Anyone can become a victim of kidnapping, but children are especially exposed to such terrible thing. Mainly it is because they are usually defenseless and naïve. And unlike adults, children are still in their active development. Therefore, any shocking event can damage their psyche horrendously and leave a mark that can absolutely change their future life. Let’s see what the psychological effects of abductions are, according to different experts:

  1. Posttraumatic syndrome (PTSD). Due to the fact that children don’t have the developed psychological defense mechanisms that could help them coop with the trauma, they usually get PTSD, which manifests itself in the following symptoms: nightmares, flashbacks, repetitive mimicking of the trauma, avoidance of the trauma triggers, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. These symptoms are persistent and need to be clinically treated.
  2. Unconscious breakdown. Any child’s unconscious is extremely vulnerable and fragile. Often times, children’s underdeveloped defense (consciousness) is incapable of dealing with something like kidnapping. It would try to deny the fact something as horrible did happen. This results in impaired memory, denial, decreased concentration, confusion or fear of some events, things, or patterns.
  3. The shift in perception. Many recent studies show unthinkable tendency: victims of kidnapping often develop some sort of a bond to their abductors and start having compassion for them. This is especially true for children. Such strange reaction is called Stockholm syndrome. The characteristics of the syndrome may include insomnia, difficulty trusting other people, anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty socializing, etc.

Is There Any Way To Cure The Effects Of Kidnapping On Your Child? Experts Suggest Some Useful Tips For ParentsTY Lim / Shutterstock.com

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How to help kidnapped children?

It is impossible to predict how kidnapping would affect a child, and it is extremely difficult to fix its consequences. Yet, it is possible. A good therapy for kidnapped children is one that takes into account that the recovery process requires a lot of time. Therefore, the first rule is to be patient. Below, you can find some more important recommendations for parents of kidnapped children:

  1. Create a peaceful atmosphere at home.
  2. Provide a safe and secure environment.
  3. Psychotherapy is mandatory for faster and proper recovery.
  4. Protect your child’s privacy. Avoid the pressure that might be created by media overexposure.
  5. Encourage your child to note down thoughts and experience in a diary. Try to discuss them daily, but do not pressure.
  6. It may take time to reestablish the relationship between you and your child.
  7. Note every change in your child’s behavior and consult with the therapist.
  8. Since most of the reported abductions are committed by family members, it is important to know how your child feels about the abductor.
  9. Communicate with your child more. Always talk openly and do not raise your voice, especially in the first weeks. Never hit your child.
  10. Protect your child from different fear triggers that may remind them of the trauma.

Is There Any Way To Cure The Effects Of Kidnapping On Your Child? Experts Suggest Some Useful Tips For ParentsUM_UMM / Shutterstock.com

Kidnapping is definitely one of the most horrible crimes not just because of the violation of human rights, but also because of the absolutely devastating effects it may have on the psyche. Children are especially vulnerable to the impact of abductions. Any child requires stable, caring, and loving family, as well as safety to live and develop. But if your child had experienced kidnapping, we hope this article helped you to understand their condition better and showed what you could do to help them coop with the horrors of the past.

READ ALSO: FBI Showed A Real-Life Video Of A Girl Being Kidnapped From The Street To Warn Other Parents

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