School trauma and the fight, flight, freeze response

Seeing your child struggle in school can trigger a lot of stress, especially if you struggled in school too. Watch this video to hear Dr. Monica Johnson explain the fight, flight, freeze response.

By The Understood Team

Updated February 5, 2024

If you’ve had tough experiences in the past, situations that remind you of those times can hit you hard. Listen to Dr. Monica Johnson talk about how you might react in one of three ways: fighting, fleeing, or freezing. Then, think about these questions and tips below: 

  • Can you think of any school-related situations where you experienced fight, flight/avoid, or freeze responses? 
  • Intense responses often have physical signs — tight muscles, sweaty palms, a racing heart. How does your body respond when you’re feeling stressed? 
  • When big emotions hit, try mindfulness techniques like taking deep breaths or going for a quick walk. These techniques can help you slow down and untangle your feelings. 

This is the second video in a series. To start from the beginning, watch the first video.

Ready to learn more? Watch the next video in the series.

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