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Tips for Helping Kids Cope

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Fabulous advice from one of our contributors!

Many of us are home with schools and our jobs closed after this devastating weekend. Children may be at home anxious about what the next few days may bring. How do we keep them calm and help them not feel overwhelmed by their worries?

 

Here are some tips for helping children who are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the recent events.

 

1- Mom and Dad, Stay Cool

Remember children will absorb the energy, emotions, and attitude of their parents. Be aware of your emotions and reactions and model being calm. Like sponges, they will soak up everything from you. When speaking to other adults be mindful of their presence.

 

2- Turn of the TV

Remember kids are egocentric. If your child sees images of houses destroyed, it is likely that she/he will think their house is next. Over exposure to the news, can be unsettling and put their anxiety in overdrive. Devastation and the brutality of nature can be a little intense for young ones.

 

3- Talk to your Children

Giving them the narrative of what happened can help them understand it and put it in context. Empower your children with age appropriate knowledge, but don’t give more details than necessary. It will leave too much to their imagination, causing only more anxiety. It’s ok to be reassuring with truth. For example: Don’t say a storm like this will never happen again. Knowing that storms like this are a part of nature is helpful.

 

4- Do something fun

Play some games, do some crafts, or bake a cake! Or use this time for extra cuddles and kisses.

 

5- After the storm passes

Talk to your children about its effect on the community and how they may like to help those directly affected. Consider volunteering in clean-up efforts, or donating blankets, clothes, etc to the local agencies.

 

 

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