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After your child gets injured, here's how to talk to them

When a child suffers a serious injury, like a head injury, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a spinal cord injury, it can be hard for them to accept. It shakes the way that they see the world. They feel worried and nervous. They understand just how fragile and dangerous life can be.

As a parent, you need to be careful with how you guide them through this. The conversations that you have with them are going to shape how they think and feel. What they take away from the incident and how they react to it largely depends on you. So, how should you talk to them?

Above all else, just listen. Be there for them. When they need to vent or complain, listen. When they need to tell you how hard things are, even though you can't fix it, just listen. That's what they really need: your support.

As you listen, you probably want to jump in and respond. Don't do it. Hold off until you really know they're finished. Never interrupt. Let them see that you care and that you respect what they have to say.

At the same time, if your child struggles to talk about it, don't be afraid to approach the issue yourself. Ask them questions. Find out how they're doing. Check in often. This shows the child that you care and that you're there for them, and they will come to you to talk when they're ready.

While your family moves through this difficult time, make sure you are well aware of your legal rights and how to potentially seek compensation for the injury.

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