The Unseen Impact of Stress on Law Enforcement Children
Children of law enforcement officer learn many life lessons through their loving parents in blue. As a child sees their parent suit up before a shift to make the community a safer space for everyone, the child learns what service to others is, the desire to protect, and what evil looks like. A law enforcement child also learns strong characteristics that help make them into a better person in the future such as courage, sacrifice, and respect. With that being said, there is a negative side to being the child of a law enforcement officer.
Did you know that children can develop traumatic stress vicariously through listening to and watching their parents who experience symptoms of traumatic stress? It’s true and it is an impact that effects the families of law enforcement officers, especially their children. Secondhand stress and trauma can cause symptoms such as aggressive behavior, eating disorders, and intrusive behavior or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Other symptoms could include unprovoked crying and neediness.
To ensure your child and family don’t suffer from secondhand stress of your job, follow these tips that may apply to your family and even yourself:
- Avoid exposing stress of the situation to your loved ones. If you need to vent about work, do it with a spouse or another adult in a private setting and not in front of your children.
- Leave your problems at work. Realize that other people’s problems are not your own.
- Take breaks from the cause of stress. It is acceptable to take breaks on the job.
- Limit your time on social media. Social media adds unnecessary negativity to your life. Avoid it and limit your child’s accessibility to social media, too.
- Seek psychological help if you need it.
Keep our loved ones in blue safe and healthy-minded when interacting with police officers in the community. Their battle is like no other and support from the community is recommended and appreciated.