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How to Help Children Cope With the California Wildfires
Date:10/24/2007

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emotional capacities change. Younger children will depend largely on

their parents to interpret events, while older children and teenagers

will get information from a variety of sources which may not be as

reliable. Understand that older teenagers, because of their greater

capacity for understanding, may be more affected by these stories.

While teenagers seem to have more adult capacities to recover as well,

they still need extra love, understanding and support to process these

events.

6. Give your children extra time and attention. They need your close,

personal involvement to comprehend that they are safe and secure.

Talk, play and, most important, listen to them. Find time to engage in

special activities for children of all ages. Read bedtime stories and

sing songs to help younger children fall asleep.

7. Be a model for your child. Your child will learn how to deal with

these events by seeing how you deal with them. Base the amount of

self-disclosure on the age and developmental level of each of your

children. Explain your feelings but remember to do so calmly.

8. Watch your own behavior. Make a point of showing sensitivity toward

those impacted by the disaster. This is an opportunity to teach your

children that we all need to help each other.

9. Help your children return to normal activities. Children almost always

benefit from activity, goal orientation and sociability. Ensure that

your child's school environment is also returning to normal patterns

and not spending great amounts of time discussing the crisis.

10. Encourage your child to do volunteer work. Helping others can give

your child a sense of control, security and empathy. Indeed, in the

midst of crisis, adolescents and youth can emerge as active a
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SOURCE Save the Children
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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