Helping Children Cope with Tornadoes
Our hearts go out to everyone in Oklahoma affected by the tornadoes. As always, our thoughts go to the children and helping them cope in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Far more often than we have liked, we have had to share the following information. We share it again, now, to help the children of Oklahoma:
Whether it is a fire, earthquake, flood, torando or another natural disaster, the reactions that children will experience are similar. Helping them maintain some semblance of normalcy in an abnormal situation will be helpful. There is MUCH more that parents and caregivers can do to support kids through a disaster.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
For an excellent, in-depth, printable workbook, I highly recommend you check out FEMA's resource here. This workbook proivdes you with age-specific information about a child's reaction to a disaster and meaningful ways in which you can respond.
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers invaluable tips to parents on helping children after a disaster.
Most Importantly: Tell the Truth
The truth is always the best approach.
"I we can mention it, we can manage it."
"If we can talk about it, we can tame it."
When children overhear conversations and are given only partial information, they are left to their own devices to fill in the blanks. Often, they become more fearful by the things they imagine, than the reality at hand. It is best to be direct, open and honest. Help them see the "helpers" and all of the good work that is going on to make things better.
Godspeed to Oklahoma,