Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention outlines a list of factors that could affect your child's emotional response. They also offer valuable advice on how you can help your child cope with a disaster. Perhaps the most important insight from the CDC is the advice for helping children cope at different stages of a crisis.
- Make it a habit to talk to your children about emergencies and crisis situations from time to time
- Use online resources to create a plan for you and your kids. Kids feel more confident when they know there's a plan!
- Stay calm and be the reassuring voice for your children
- Talk to them about what's happening in terms they can understand (age-appropriate language is important)
- Create space to allow them to share their perspective; encourage them to ask questions
- Give kids something to do...some way to contribute such as writing a letter or drawing a picture thanking those on the frontline
- Align engagement with children across all those who interact with them (e.g. teachers, co-parents, etc.).
We hope these tips give you some useful actions to take to help prepare your family for navigating crisis situations.