Re-post of a photograph which symbolizes a child being protected and feeling safe enough to fall asleep. I post it again as a visual connection to the text below, which was a comment that I made in response to a post by comedian @weshazard Childhood trauma is important to me. Before retiring, I met hundreds of adults who were traumatized as children. Children deserve protection from being overwhelmed.
When my daughter was old enough for an overnight visit with a friend, she called home to say that a movie that she and her friend were watching on TV was scaring her and she wanted to come home. The girl's mother, whom we had assumed was providing supervision, had gone to bed. I went and got my daughter and she never spent the night at that house again. We made it clear to her that she had done the right thing and that her feeling safe is very important to us, because she needs to learn to protect herself.
Before TV, kids could be protected from age-inappropriate content. (We are NOT just talking about sex here). Something has gotten lost. The internet is risky. Does it matter that a child might be frightened? Watch the clip by @weshazard again. Some things need to remain lost. Wes found a healthy way to deal with the trauma that he experienced as a child and found a way to use humor to keep it at bay.
The definition of traumatic stress is that an experience was, and is, overwhelming. Children are vulnerable and not always able to know what is real and what is not. They might also be reluctant to report something that overwhelmed them. To think about it is to re-experience it. Another sign of traumatic stress is "avoid that again at all costs". Working with a traumatized person, an explicit rule of therapy is that we stop talking about something whenever you want to stop, and if it appears to me that you are feeling overwhelmed, I will ask if you want to stop. It is important to avoid re-enacting traumatic experience by allowing loss of control to re-occur.
My daughter is a therapist working in a women's center in Oregon. She trains therapists in her specialty: domestic violence.