This Week in Family
Natural disasters like Hurricane Florence can prove traumatizing for people of all ages, but that’s especially true for children, who struggle to make sense of them—and sometimes even blame themselves. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the clinical psychologist Shannon Self-Brown talked to hundreds of people displaced by the disaster, and found that some kids were especially susceptible to post-traumatic stress in the months and years after the storm. She talked to the Atlantic staff writer Joe Pinsker about how parents can help protect their children from lasting trauma after a natural disaster.
While Ashley, Leslie, and Shannon are common women’s names in 2018, they actually started off as male, not female names. The gender connotations of names are constantly evolving, writes Joe Pinsker, but almost always, the pattern is the same: Male names become feminized, but never vice versa. This long-standing trend says a lot about how parents, whether consciously or not, perceive masculine-sounding names as more desirable than feminine-sounding names.
“You don’t love me anymore. You’re not my mom anymore.”(Jenri, age 5)
When the government forces migrant children away from their families, the trauma doesn’t disappear when and if they’re eventually reunited. A new Atlantic documentary focuses on an asylum-seeking Honduran child and mother who were separated in June and, despite then being reunited with the help of a pro bono lawyer, are left with irreparable scars. The Atlantic video producer Jeremy Raff got a glimpse of the family’s struggle to return to normalcy after a month apart. As the mother, Anita, told him, “The separation was so long. My son has changed so much.”