CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - In the wake of the tragic events and images emerging from the devastating earthquake in tsunami and Japan, how do you help your kids make sense of what they are seeing? From New York, via satellite, Kelli Wallace sheds light on the subject.
Number one, you should, when talking about it, try to shut off the tv if you can. These images, as you mentioned, are tough for adults. They are particularly tough for the kids. But no matter what you do, they may very well hear about it. So the thing is, to let their questions guide the information at how much of it you give your kids. That can be the best way to understand how much it is on their minds and how much they can handle at that time.
If they are asking the question, it is important to address it. Nott to shut it off. Even if parents try to keep the tv off, so kids don't see the devastating image, they still may hear about what is going on. The biggest concern especially for kids 8 and younger. Number one, you want to make your children feel safe. You don't want to dismiss their concerns. Try it comfort them. I was reading about this, good piece of advice, maybe taking out a map and showing your children how far away from their home this earthquake really took place. You also want to use science, talk with them about the weather and the incidents that can happen in their community. Those that can and you also might want to encourage them to lend a helping hand. Get their pennies together. Do a bake sale. Action helps all of us feel a lot less powerless. Give kids some control knowing they are doing something to help the boys and girls in Japan right now.
It is also important to talk to your kids about what they are talking about in school. They might be hearing about it in school. They might be talking about it in the classroom. There might be some kids in the class who have family and friends in Japan. They might have Japanese American kids in their classroom. It really hits closer to home. I think that you want to be asking your kids questions. You'll learn how much they are thinking about it. What really is scaring them. Overall. We want to try to reassure our kids as much as possible that we will always do whatever we can to keep them safe.
They need to know, and probably won't accept that statement that this isn't like think to happen here. Especially if you live in a place that is vulnerable to earthquakes many what they want to hear is, what would we do as a family or community if someing like this happened? What is our family action plan? What would the community do? Are we prepared? That can be a really interesting conversation that we can have with our teens or it weens, if you feel they are ready. They get to control. It makes them feel as they as an individual, as a family, might have more control over something that is incredibly scary to all of us.
To find out more about how to talk to your kids about natural disaster and devastation, visit AboutOurKids.org .
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