Help Kids Cope After Natural Disasters

How To Help Kids Cope After Natural Disasters

When natural disasters strike like Hurricane Harvey and now, Hurricane Irma, we often think of parents because they’re the ones who put their kids lives back together. But, how can parents help their kids bounce back when their worlds are upside down?

Remember that kids are observant. So they’re taking cues from you. Regardless of their age – preschool to high school – they’ll mimic the way you respond. They take your lead. You give your kids strength from your calmness. This doesn’t mean that you can’t cry or feel sad. You just can’t collapse and break down in front of them.

Images of destroyed homes, collapsed roof tops and debris everywhere. Some young kids (preschool and early elementary age) may start to stomp on or smash things because that's what they've seen. If you're like more parents, your initial response is to stop your kids. Realize that your kids want control of their lives just like you. One way to control their environment is to react what they’ve experienced. So it’s not too surprising to see them smash or crush toys, pillows, blankets, boxes. Turn it into a game and join them. Let them release their energy and fears.  I suggest that you give their play a happier ending where you all rebuild what’s destroyed.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @blancacobb. Remember to use the hash tag #BlancaOn2. Or, you can find me on my facebook page.

Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.

 

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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