You spend a lot of time teaching your teenager how to drive. They seem to know the procedures and safety rules for driving. They even pass the driver test, and you reward them with the keys to the car. And then the call that no parent wants: Your teenager was involved in a car accident. What do you do to help your child? Here are some tips for helping your teenager cope after a car accident.
Remember that your child is already scared and in pain after a car accident. Depending on if they sustained injuries in the accident, they might be unconscious or unable to remember what happened. It can be very hard to remain calm, but it is important for your child’s wellbeing. Before you go to the hospital, spend a few minutes calming yourself down by talking to a friend or loved one or doing something relaxing.
Get All the Facts From the Doctor
Before you visit your teenager in the hospital room, talk to a doctor about their condition. Getting the facts first will at least give you an idea of what to expect so that you can react appropriately. When you decide that you are in a calm enough position to visit your child, let your doctor know and ask for permission to let you into the room.
Let Your Teenager Know That You Love Them
By expressing love and concern for your teenager right away, they will take solace in knowing that you are not at the hospital to yell or give a lecture. In fact, it might help your teenager communicate with you and express love as well. If they ask you for help, that is a good sign that communication will be an effective step for recovery.
Respect Your Doctor and Child’s Requests
If your doctor needs to run tests, your child might need to stay at the hospital overnight. If this is the case, do not try to argue. Instead, be patient and cooperative when the doctor tells you what to do next. Your teenager will be very worried and might ask you for some space. Respect that, but also offer to visit often.
Be Patient With Recovery
When your child comes home, they might be in a great deal of pain. Tell your child that you would like to know what happened, but only when they are ready to tell you. Save the long lectures until after your child fully recovers.
Research Additional Professional Help
During the recovery process, stay busy by seeking any type of medical and psychological assistance that your child might need. Finding an available doctor might be difficult, but by seeking one right away and explaining your child’s condition, you might be able to jump to the top of a waiting list. Also, keep in mind that your child will eventually feel comfortable enough to get back on the road. Before you agree to teach your child how to drive again, this is an important topic to bring up during a family session with your child’s therapist.
Remember that your child’s recovery depends on your attitude and assistance. Hopefully, these tips for helping your teenager cope after a car accident will lead to a smooth recovery process.