Tools to Help My Child

Tools to Help My Child

This section of the portal offers various tools to help parents intervene more effectively with children who have experienced trauma.

Books & Articles

A Terrible Thing Happened

A Story for Children Who Have Witnessed Violence or Trauma

This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire. An afterword by Sasha J. Mudlaff written for parents and other caregivers offers extensive suggestions for helping traumatized children, including a list of other sources that focus on specific events. 

- Created by Margaret M. Holmes.

The Invisible String

For children aged 2 to 7

Specifically written to address children's fear of being apart from the ones they love, The Invisible String delivers a particularly compelling message in today's uncertain times that though we may be separated from the ones we care for, whether through anger, or distance or even death, love is the unending connection that binds us all, and, by extension, ultimately binds every person on the planet to everyone else.

- Created by Patricia Karst.

The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions

For children aged 2 to 7

This book is a useful tool for talking to children about emotions. The story revolves around a monster who changes color according to the emotions he feels. Embossed elements appear on each page to illustrate the emotion in question.

- Created by Anna Llenas.

A Place for Starr: A Story of Hope for Children Experiencing Family Violence

Created by Howard Schor.

A Place for Starr follows a brave girl and her family as they break the cycle of violence and leave an abusive home. This healing story helps children understand that family violence is not their fault, and they can tell adults or friends about their plight. Children learn that there are other families just like theirs that suffer from abuse.

Help Your Dragon Cope With Trauma

Created by Steve Herman.

This is a book for children, parents and teachers to teach kids to understand and overcome traumatic events that they might experience. 

The Day My Daddy Lost His Temper: Empowering Kids That Have Witnessed Domestic Violence

Created by Dr. Carol Santana McCleary.

The Empowering Kids Series is a collection of empathically reflective stories told from the perspective of young children. These books are meant to be used by parents and mental health providers to facilitate the child's verbalization of their feelings and experiences, thereby advancing the healing process and are aimed at validating the readers' experiences and feelings, thereby reducing feelings of shame and isolation.

Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can’t Live With Their Parents

Created by Janice Levy.

Finding the Right Spot is a story for all kids who can't live with their parents, regardless of the circumstances. It's a story about resilience and loyalty, hope and disappointment, love, sadness, and anger, too. It's about whether life is fair, and wondering what will happen tomorrow, and talking about all of it. And finally, it's about what makes the spot you're in feel right.

Please Tell: A Child’s Story About Sexual Abuse

Created by Jessie.

Simple, direct, and from the heart, Jessie gives children the permission and the courage to deal with sexual abuse. "Please Tell!" is a beautifully simple book with a profoundly important message for children who have been sexually the abuse wasn't their fault

Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care

Created by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright.

Will I live with my parents again? Will I stay with my foster parents forever? For children in foster care, the answer to many questions is often "maybe." Maybe Days addresses the questions, feelings, and concerns these children most often face. Honest and reassuring, it also provides basic information that children want and need to know, including the roles of various people in the foster care system and whom to ask for help.

I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from Their Parents

Created by Dr. Michael Ungar.

This book for parents of children with serious emotional, psychological and behavioural challenges offers nine practical and effective strategies that parents can use to make children change troubling behaviours and become more resilient. Told as the story of three families that meet together weekly with Dr. Ungar at his office, each family’s struggles and successes are proof that with a little guidance and the power of unconditional love, any child can be helped to heal and reconnect.

The Seven Core Issues Workbook for Parents of Traumatized Children and Teens: A Guide to Help You Explore Feelings and Overcome Emotional Challenges in Your Family

Created by Sharon Roszia and Allison Davis Maxon.

This workbook gives parents the ability to explore their own Seven Core issues including - Loss, Rejection, Shame/Guilt, Grief, Identity, Intimacy and Mastery/Control - as well as their child's through varies experiential exercise and activities. Parents can identify and address their core issues in order to more effectively assist and support the child's core issues.

My Yellow Balloon

Created by Tiffany Papageorge.

My Yellow Balloon is a poignant tale of love, loss, and letting go that will serve as a comforting guide to children who are navigating the complicated emotions of grief, while offering hope for brighter days ahead.

Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss

Created by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen.

This book discusses and validates the difficult times of one who is going through grief. The Grand's Cooking Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations to soften those difficult moments.

When a Dinosaur Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

Created by Laura Krasny Brown.

This book s a comforting aid to help young kids and families through a difficult time in their lives. It also helps dispel the mystery and negative connotations associated with death, providing answers to kids' most-often asked questions.

Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

Created by Susan Farber Straus.

Healing Days is a sensitive and reassuring story intended for children who have experienced trauma and covers the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that many kids have after a bad and scary thing happens. It also emphasizes that children are not to blame for what happened, and that they can get help and look forward to a happy future. Kids will begin to understand their response to the trauma and learn some strategies for feeling safer, more relaxed, and more confident.

She Won’t Feel Like This Forever: A Book for Children With Mothers Suffering PTSD

Created by Lindsey J Crockett.

This book aims to support mothers with PTSD in discussing what they're feeling and also to reassure children that their mother wont feel like this forever, that they're not to blame for their mother's symptoms and that they're still very much loved. It can be difficult for mothers to express themselves when they're experiencing the full force of PTSD symptoms, so this book is aimed to be used as a tool for mothers to make reference to, to help communicate and reassure her child, in a gentle and memorable manner.

Guides & Fact Sheets

The Resilience Tree

This fact sheet provides information about resilience for infants, children or youth exposed to intimate partner violence.

- Created by Make Resilience Matter.

WHO Guidelines on Parenting Interventions to Prevent Maltreatment and Enhance Parent-Child Relationships With Children Aged 0–17 Years

For Parents and Caregivers of Children Aged 0–17

This guideline provides evidence-based recommendations for parents and caregivers of children aged 0–17 years on parenting interventions that are designed to reduce child maltreatment and harsh parenting, enhance the parent–child relationship, and prevent poor mental health among parents and emotional and behavioural problems among children.

- Created by the World Health Organization.

For Me, As a Parent

For Parents of Children Aged 0 to 5, With an Additional Section for Children Aged 6 to 11

This kit provides visual materials that are aimed at encouraging discussions with parents and that can be incorporated into various parent support programs and activities. It contains various tools and is based on an approach that values parents' points of view and strengths. It can also be used by a variety of professionals and adapted to suit the needs of each client. 

- Created by Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. 

Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event

In the wake of a traumatic event, your comfort, support and reassurance can make children feel safe, help them manage their fears, guide them through their grief, and help them recover in a healthy way. This guide was assembled by psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts who specialize in crisis situations. It offers simple tips on what to expect, what to do and what to look out for. If you or your children require assistance from a mental health professional, do not hesitate to ask a doctor or other health care provider for a recommendation. 

- Created by Child Mind Institute. 

When ‘’I’m Fine’’ Really Means ‘’I’ve Learnt to Blend in to Survive’’

Created by Beacon House - Therapeutic Services and Trauma Team.

This fact sheet provides information on ways to help children who are blending in and who haven't learned to assert themselves to give their opinions.

Using Your Senses Can Help

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

This page offers a concrete tool to help children focus on their senses in order to better manage their emotions.

Ways to Relax

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

This page offers concrete ways to relax.

12 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe From Sexual Encounters Online

Created by Dr. Sheri Madigan, Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos and Nina Anderson.

This article provides tips to help parents regarding their children’s utilization of media, especially ways to avoid sexual encounters online.

After a Crisis: How Young Children Heal

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet offers tips to parents on how to help young children, toddlers, and preschoolers heal after a traumatic event. 

Coping in Hard Times: Fact Sheet for Parents

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet helps parents understand how economic difficulties can affect their families, in terms of their sense of safety, connectedness, and hope. It also helps families find ways to cope during uncertain times. 

Teen Sexual Assault: Information for Parents

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet defines key terms, including consent and coercion, and offers guidance to parents related to dating violence and sexual assault. It also describes how common teen sexual assault is, how it relates to dating relationships, the roles drugs and the Internet can play in increasing risk, and provides tips for staying safe and what to do if your teen has experienced sexual assault. 

Caring for Kids: What Parents Need to Know About Sexual Abuse

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet series provides parents and caregivers with tools to help them support children who have been victims of sexual abuse, information on the importance of talking to children and youth about body safety, and guidance on how to respond when children disclose sexual abuse. It also includes advice on how to cope with the shock of intrafamilial abuse and with the emotional impact of legal involvement in sexual abuse cases. 

Children and Domestic Violence: How Does Domestic Violence Affect Children?

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet series offers support to parents whose children have been affected by domestic violence. It also provides education to support their resilience and recovery.

The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After the Death of a Sibling From Substance Use or Overdose

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet series offers parents and caregivers information to help support their surviving children after the death of a sibling due to substance use or overdose. It includes information on helping children cope with stigma and shame, understanding the wide range of reactions that different family members may experience, coping with how substance use influences the family over time, adapting to loss, and prioritizing self-care and support for the parents or caregivers. 

Childhood Traumatic Grief: Information for Parents and Caregivers

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet provides information to parents and caregivers on Childhood Traumatic Grief. It outlines how children grieve, what Childhood Traumatic Grief is, who develops Childhood Traumatic Grief, the signs a child might have Childhood Traumatic Grief, and what parents or caregivers can do to help. 

Helping Young Children With Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet utlines the feelings of young children struggling with the death of someone meaningful and offers suggestions on what caregivers can do to help.

Helping Teens With Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet describes how teens may feel when struggling with the death of someone close and offers tips on what caregivers can do to help.

Helping Your Teen Cope With Traumatic Stress and Substance Abuse: A Guide for Parents

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet provides information for parents and caregivers whose teen might be or is experiencing substance abuse and/or stress from a traumatic event.  

Physical Punishment: What Parents Should Know

Created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

This fact sheet provides parents with information on the negative impact of physical punishment, and introduces parents to effective alternatives to physically disciplining children.

Building Resilience: Giving Your Child Tools for a Healthy Life

Created by McMaster Children’s Hospital.

​​​​​​This tip sheet, created for parents and caregivers, provides tools to help children become more resilient.

Why Won’t They Listen? Tips for Talking With Your Child

Created by McMaster Children’s Hospital.

​​​​​​This tip sheet, created for parents and caregivers, provides information on how to develop better talking skills when interacting with children.

Emotional Regulation: Children With an Early History of Negative Life Events

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

​​​​This page offers proactive and timely strategies to help children, especially those who have experienced childhood trauma, learn to better control their emotions.

Bridging the Distance: Feeling Connected When Apart

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

​​​​​This page highlights strategies that can be effective when trying to strengthen the parent-child relationship in preparation for and during a separation. 

Behaviour Approaches for Children and Youth With Disturbances of Attachment

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

​​​​​​This page provides a better understanding of the challenging behaviors that children who have experienced trauma may exhibit as well as alternative interventions that can be put in place. 

Tips for Parents When Reacting to Symptoms of Anxiety

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

This page provides strategies for parents to be better equipped to deal with their child's anxiety.

Practical Responses When You Find Your Child Under the Age of 12 Engaged in Problematic Sexual Behaviours

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

This page provides information on problematic sexual behaviour and tips for dealing with it.

Practical Responses: When You Find Your Adolescent Engaged in Sexual Behaviours

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

This page provides information on sexual behaviour teens may experience and tips for dealing with it.

Sexuality and Developmental Disability: A Guide for Parents

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

This guide provides information on sexuality and developmental disabilities, as well as tips on how to talk about important issues such as consent.

Creating and Maintaining a Healthy Sexual Environment at Home

Created by the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI).

​​​​​​ This guide provides information on what constitutes a healthy sexual environment and suggests rules that can be put in place at home to establish clear boundaries.

How Can We Prevent Sexual Violence?

Created by Marie-Vincent Foundation.

This page offers tips on how to prevent sexual violence.

Helping Traumatized Children : A Brief Overview for Caregivers

Created by the Child Trauma Academy.

This guide was created to help parents and caregivers interact with children who have been through traumatic experiences. It also answers frequently asked questions, and illustrates special considerations for traumatized children. 

Thousands of Kids Lost Loved Ones to the Pandemic. Psychologists Are Teaching Them How to Grieve, and Then Thrive

Created by the American Psychological Association.

This paper proposes ways to help kids grief when facing death of a loved one. 

Complex Trauma: The Intervention

Created by Geneviève Salvaille and Lucie Thivierge.

The first part of the infographic proposes three aspects to consider when working with children who have experienced trauma. In the second part, the ARC model of intervention is presented, illustrating the different components that need to be taken into consideration to improve children's quality of life after trauma.


Mindful Breathing Tips

Created by the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute.

This infographic offers five mindful ways of breathing that can help individuals relax when experiencing difficult emotions. 

Recognizing Anxiety Worksheet

Created by the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute.

This worksheet was created to help people recognize how anxiety affects the body, which can help individuals manage anxiety symptoms. 

Self-Esteem Inventory

Created by the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute.

This infographic can be used as a tool that can serve as an indicator of where you can benefit from looking at beliefs that foster low self-esteem. 

9 Strategies for Supporting Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

Created by the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute.

This infographic provides 9 strategies to help individuals who have a bordeline personnality disorder.

Executive Functions, What Is That?

Created by Alexandra Matte-Landry.

This infographic provides a good understanding of the impact of trauma on the development of executive functions in children. It also offers several ideas for age-appropriate games to stimulate the development of these skills.

Mobile Applications

Help Kids Cope

This mobile application helps parents talk to their kids about the disasters they may face and know how best to support them throughout—whether sheltering-in-place at home, evacuating to a designated shelter, or helping your family heal after reuniting. It is also a great resource for teachers and other professionals involved in children's lives.  

- Created by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.


Created by eQuoo Wellbeing.

This digital gaming app is designed to lower anxiety as well as depression, and to build emotional resilience in students.

JoyPop App

Created by Resilience in Youth.

This app asks users to complete Mood Ratings each day. If the user rates their happiness as less than 50%, they are asked to rate how sad, angry, or “meh” they are feeling, so that they can identify what the negative emotion that they are feeling is, promoting emotional awareness. When the user rates their mood negatively, they are then directed to complete an activity to shift their mindset toward positive emotion. The user may use the Journal feature to journal their thoughts and feelings using words and emojis, or respond to a pre-populated question or quote. The App contains several activities designed to bolster resilience and positive emotionality.


Serve and Return

What Is ''Serve and Return'' and ''How to Serve and Return'' ?

Serve and return interactions shape brain architecture and support the development of communication and social skills. This guide provides information on the concept of serve and return and provides 5 steps for serve and return.

- Created by the Center on the Developing Child.

The Zones of Regulation ($)

Created by Leah Kuypers.

The Zones of Regulation framework and curriculum (Kuypers, 2011) teach students scaffolded skills toward developing a metacognitive pathway to build awareness of their feelings/internal state and utilize a variety of tools and strategies for regulation, prosocial skills, self-care, and overall wellness. This includes exploring tools and strategies for mindfulness, sensory integration, movement, thinking strategies, wellness, and healthy connection with others. 

Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children Who Have Experienced Trauma and Loss

Created by the Adoption Council of Ontario.

This parent and caregiver curriculum for adoptive parents is informed by and incorporates key concepts from Seneca/Kinship Center’s ACT: An Adoption and Permanency Curriculum for Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals. The goal is to provide compatible information to both professionals and parents to enable them to work together in improving permanency outcomes for children. 

Hamilton Health Sciences Courses and Workshops

Created by McMaster Children’s Hospital.

These free and online educational courses and skills training workshops provide information on a variety of topics, including parenting, child development and child and youth mental health concerns. Programs are available for children, youth and caregivers.

Videos & Webinars

Communicating With Children - Explore UCalgary

In this video, Dr. Madigan provides information and tips on how to communicate with children in a positive way, depending on their age. 

- Created by Explore UCalgary.

Tiger, Meerkat, Owl - Children of Trauma & Resilience

Any experience that leaves you feeling scared, worried, and uncertain creates an involuntary stress response in your body. This means that despite logic, reason, and good coping skills, some of the reactions we have in times of crisis are largely out of our control. This video helps describe this concept to children using a Tiger, Meerkat, and Owl. 

- Created by Starr Commonwealth.


Zero to Thrive: Parenting With Balanced Caregiving

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or another important adult, your child looks to you to figure out how to navigate the world. Zero To Thrive advocates for balanced caregiving, or responses to children that are warm and kind and strong and in charge. This brief video provides a more detailed explanation of balanced caregiving. 

- Created by Michigan Medicine. 

[Webinar] FLIP IT Instead of Flipping Out: You Can Transform Challenging Behavior!

In this one-hour webinar, the FLIP IT® strategy is presented. It offers a simple, kind, strength-based, commonsense and effective four step process to address children’s day to day challenging behavior. The four steps are embodied in the FLIP mnemonic which stands for F – Feelings, L – Limits, I – Inquiries and P – Prompts. FLIP IT is nothing new, but transforms best practice into a strategy that is easy to remember, applicable in a variety of challenging situations and portable.

- Created by the Devereux Center for Resilient Children.

Zero to Thrive: The Wondering and Response Wheel: A Tool to Help Understand Your Child’s Needs

The Wondering and Responses Wheel can help parents respond to children’s behavior and feelings in a way that addresses their needs and supports their positive emotional growth and development. Watch this brief video to learn how to use the Wondering Response Wheel! 

Created by Michigan Medicine. 

Stress Reduction Exercices

These recordings are guided exercises for managing stress and anxiety through mindful awareness, breathing, and simple movements.

- Created by the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute.

YourSpace Hamilton - FamilySpace Youtube Channel

This Youtube channel offers multiple parenting webinars to help and inform parents and caregivers on different topics, including anxiety in children and youth, understanding ADHD, managing routines, and more.

- Created by YourSpace Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences.

Youth Suicide Prevention Video Series

​​​​​​These educational videos were created for caregivers of youth with mental health concerns and provide information on how to support and respond to youth when they are thinking of harming themselves or have already tried to do so. 

- Created by McMaster Children’s Hospital.

CTRI - Youtube Channel

The CTRI Youtube Channel provide videos on different topics, including being prensent, overcoming self-criticism, tips for couple counselling, tips to reduce screen time, self-care, and more. 

- Created by the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute.

The Use of Simulation-Based Learning Approaches to Improve Access to Trauma-Informed Care in Children’s Mental Health Settings

This panel, presented during the 2022 Trauma Symposium, discusses an innovating training approach that provides access to experiential learning within a community-based setting using multiple modalities within the area of SBL (live in-person, virtual, and gaming situations) to increase access to training and upskilling opportunities for both students and professional practitioners.

- By Angelique Jenney, Emma Morgan & Narmin Nikdel.


Traumatic Experiences - Sesame Street

Created by Sesame Street in Communities.

This website includes many free activities for children and their families. It also provides numerous resources regarding traumatic experiences that are categorized by age group, language, ressource type and activity length.

Self-Reg for Parents

Created by The MEHRIT Centre.

This page contains a collection of Self-Reg resources for parents. You will find courses, groups, and online communities where you can connect with other parents.

Childhood Trauma and PTSD

Created by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

This website provides animations that have been produced with the involvement of young people themselves, and that are designed to help young people and the adults around them recognise the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. They also suggest ways of coping with scary memories, explain the science around the best treatments, and answer any worries you might have about getting support.