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
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
|SOURCE Save the Children|
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