At Hope 4 Hurting Kids, we recognize that there are a wide variety of things that can give rise hurt and pain in a young persons life. Not all such circumstances would be considered traumatic, but there are millions and millions of kids and teens who have experienced trauma in their young lives including abuse, abandonment, domestic violence, natural disasters and more. This page is dedicated to helping young people deal with the traumas they face and the impacts of those traumas. We have included in this page destructive behaviors some young people engage in as a results of pain and trauma.  If you would like to limit your search to a particular area, please click on one of the options below. (Note: there are a variety of family issues including divorce and family disruption which constitute trauma in a young person’s life. These are dealt with separately here on Hope 4 Hurting Kids and can be found here.)

Helping Kids Cope With Tragedy
I originally wrote this article in the aftermath of the events in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. At the time, the deaths of the 20 six and seven year olds from that elementary school and the six staff members were still fresh in our memories and hearts.  In my own house, and in church on Sunday morning, I was faced with kids who were both afraid that something like that could happen at their school and mourning not only the loss of life but a certain loss of innocence. In the years since, we have continued to see stories of ...
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Aaron's Story
Aaron’s Story – A Family in Crisis
It was seven o’clock on a Friday evening when we had to call the police. No one had come to pick up Aaron that evening. His mom had dropped him off at my child care center Friday morning. She brought him in, signed him in, put his backpack on his hook and had left. All the things she normally did but she did not show up that evening. We called the hospital where she worked, and she had not shown up for work that day. They had tried all day to reach her. We called all of the contacts on ...
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Without A Plan We Fail
Recently I was ministering to a lady that was new to our area. She was from another state and had just moved here. She said she had to get out of an abusive marriage so she came to live with a relative and for some peace and quiet while she sorted out her thoughts. I am always for trying to save a marriage. Unless the children are in an unsafe environment and the mom’s (or dad’s) safety is at risk, then I will mention the possibility of saving a marriage. As per my normal questions, I asked if there was ...
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Trauma Informed Church
Trauma Informed Churches
In our world today many children are experiencing early childhood trauma. We now know through a lot of research that childhood trauma can affect a child for the rest of their lives. The website ACEs too High (Adverse Childhood Experiences) explains through several articles and research reviews about how trauma in early childhood can affect a child’s behavior and health during childhood and can cause life-long problems. We know that early trauma causes toxic stress on the brains of young children. So much so that the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement about this issue. They encourage ...
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Sexual Abuse
Your Church and Child Sexual Abuse (Weekend Reading)
There is very little more heartbreaking than reading a story about child sexual abuse. When that abuse happens in the church (and is does far more often than you might think), those stories are even more heartbreaking. God has a heart for kids, and to read stories of sexual abuse that happens in a place where kids should be safe is even more heartbreaking. Being in church can give you a false sense of security. As a parent, as someone who has volunteered in children's ministry and someone who works with children who are particularly vulnerable because of family transition, the ...
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Attachment Issues
Working With Children with Attachment Issues
A report released by Princeton University shows that approximately 40 percent of children in the U.S. lack strong emotional bonds in their lives. A child’s primary attachments will form with their parents and begin very early in life. However, there are different levels of attachment that kids can form. In the absence of appropriate emotional bonds with their parents, many of these children can still bond with an alternate caregiver such as a grandparent, childcare staff or caring baby sitters. These “secondary bonds” allow these kids to move forward with only minimal attachment issues. Why is this important for our future? ...
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Child Abuse
What You Need to Know About Child Abuse and Neglect
When you think about hurting kids, one of the first thing that comes to mind is children who have been abused or neglected.  Over 1.2 million children suffer harm from child abuse or neglect per year. That equates to 17.1 children per 1,000 or approximately 1 in every 58 children. When children who are endangered by abuse or neglect are added to those figures, the numbers rise to over 2.9 million kids or 39.5 per thousand. That equates to one in every 25 children. The reach and magnitude of abuse and neglect are as varied as the forms of abuse ...
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15 Things to Do When Talking to An Abused or Neglected Child
15 Things to Do When Talking to An Abused or Neglected Child
If you discover that a child is being abused, or if a child comes right out and tells you, it can be an uncomfortable situation, and it is often difficult to find the “right thing” to say to them. Many times there is no “right thing” to say, but you can be prepared by knowing how to handle the situation. Here are some suggestions. 1. Avoid Denial and Remain Calm If your actions, tone or words reveal a sense of denial or shock or disgust, the child may react by shutting down. You need to remain as calm and as ...
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Contemplating Suicide
Help for Kids and Teens Contemplating Suicide
Sometimes the pressure and pain of life can make it seem almost unbearable.  In those moments, many children, teens and young adults find themselves contemplating suicide.  Many actually get to such a point of despair that they attempt suicide, and tragically way too many every year actually do take their own lives. Now, there is help! This booklet from The Hope Line titled Understanding Suicide is designed for those working with kids who may be contemplating suicide. It includes sections on: Myths & Truths Risk Factors The Most Common Methods of Suicide Teen Suicide Warning Signs How to Help a ...
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