Helping Children Cope with Disaster

mom comforting child

When an unexpected disaster strikes – i.e. flood, typhoon, earthquake – it can be particularly devastating to the entire community. But even more so, children soak up everything like a sponge. They will take in the disaster and all of the damage and it could have a serious negative effect that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Children should not have to suffer forever because of a catastrophe. They need to learn how to cope with tragedy as quickly as possible. This will help them to understand the devastating damage wrought by the natural disaster, and it will give them the opportunity to bounce back from this devastating circumstance.

Coping with disaster is possible for children. We will share ways that you can help the young ones overcome such a tragic event.

Adults Must Set a Good Example for Children to Follow

First off, in order to help children cope with a disaster situation, it’s necessary for the adults involved to keep a cool and calm demeanor at all times. While this may be difficult to accomplish, it is necessary because children follow the lead of the adults that are caring for them.

As an example, let’s say that your hometown is suddenly struck with a tragic earthquake. The majority of the community is decimated and many of the homes in the vicinity have been completely destroyed.

The damage looks beyond repair, and unfortunately many of your friends and neighbors are either suffering from injury or they have passed on into the next world.

As an adult, you have to keep a cool head in order for the children to properly cope with this situation. If they see the adults in their community screaming, yelling, crying and otherwise losing their composure, the children will follow suit and do the same.

There is a time for grieving. But it has to wait until the dust settles and everyone is safe after such a catastrophic event.

Remain Reassuring and Calm

remain calm

As adults, it’s often tough to remain calm and reassuring in the face of a tragedy such as an earthquake, typhoon or flood. But if you’re hoping to keep the children from going into a complete state of shock and panic, then being calm and reassuring is your main priority.

Children typically tend to imitate the adults around them. If the adults are frantically running around like chickens with their heads cut off, then the children will eventually do the same.

On a brighter note, if the adults are calm and patiently helping to get everyone clear of the natural disaster, the children will also remain calm and do their best to help in any way that they can.

Adults, please remember that children imitate everything that you do. This is especially true of children between the ages of one through seven years old. At that age, they are learning to navigate in the world. They watch the adults around them and imitate them as a way to learn how to interact in the world. You have to interact in a calm and reassuring manner in order to teach the children to do the same.

Promote Positivity and Teach Problem-Solving Skills

problem solvingAt this point, after a devastating disaster, it’s the perfect time to remain positive. Make sure the children are as upbeat as possible because it will help them overcome the disaster much quicker than if they were to stay in a negative state of mind.

Plus, at this point, you want the children to begin learning problem-solving skills. As we know, disasters can strike at any time and children need to be as prepared as the adults. They might not be able to do everything that an adult can do in a situation like this, but they need to be ready, prepared and capable of making snap decisions at a moment’s notice.

How can children learn problem-solving skills?

Well, children learn the best through fun games and activities. Let the children participate in activities that will allow them to flex their problem-solving muscles in disaster related scenarios. It’s in the child’s best interest to develop positive and realistic ways of coping with the ability to manage anxiety during a natural tragedy.

Children need to learn how to identify the right skills for the right situation. By playing disaster related games, this will allow them to learn how to cope before a negative situation were to arise. It’s just as effective after a disaster as well, and it could prepare the children in case tragedy was ever to strike again.

Dealing with a crisis can be extremely stressful on children and adults alike. Food is often scarce during a state of emergency. In particular, there are food items that we all need during a crisis. Want to know more about the essential 37 food items? Click here to learn more about Sold Out After Crisis.