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Fleeing a violent past can affect immigrant children

You and your family have recently immigrated to the United States and have found a good place to live in Illinois. You are optimistic at the prospect of being able to create and maintain a more stable and successful life for your family, but are concerned about how these changes will affect the wellbeing and comfort of your children. At Francis Law Center, we have helped many people to work through the transition of becoming a citizen in a new country. 

Depending on the situations that led you to choose to immigrate to the United States, your children may have been exposed to harsh environments and violence. While getting away from these dangers is improvement, it may take some time for your children to recover from what they witnessed. Aiding in their healing can only be done when you first recognize the signs that they are suffering. Some of the signs to watch for according to justice.gov include the following:

  • Tantrums are sudden anger.
  • Withdrawal or a desire to be alone, even excluding you and other family members. 
  • Over-compliance, frequent nightmares or difficulty paying attention. 
  • Unexplained changes in normal activity levels.
  • Participating in questionable behavior despite your disapproval. 

When you recognize that your children are acting out, you can be more aware of their needs and even seek professional help in giving them the tools and resources necessary to overcome their fear and anxiety. For anyone, but children especially, experiencing or witnessing violence can take time to remedy. For more information about family immigration, visit our web page. 

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