Helping Children with Stress (page 2)
The following was taken from an e-mail sent by Jonah Edelman, Executive Director, Stand for Children, as suggestions to help you and your children during the difficult and confusing days of 9/11. Links to additional sites with more suggestions are also included.
As we individually and collectively struggle with the September 11, 2001 tragic events and losses, we wanted to let you know that our thoughts are with you. Also, for those of you who have children or work with children, here is some advice about how you might handle this situation:
- Continuously reassure your children that you will help to keep them safe.
- Turn off the TV. Overexposure to the media can be traumatizing. If your older children are watching the news, be sure to watch with them.
- Be aware that your child's age will affect his or her response. Adolescents in particular may be hard hit by these kinds of events, and need more intensive, expert support and counseling.
- Calmly express your emotions, but remember that a composed demeanor will provide a greater sense of security for your child.
- Give your children extra time and attention and plan to spend more time with your children in the following months.
- Let your children ask questions, talk about what happened, and express their feelings.
- Play with children who can't talk yet to help them work out the fears they have based on the atmosphere around them.
- Keep regular schedules for activities such as eating, playing, and going to bed to help restore a sense of security and normalcy.
- Consider how you and your child can help. Children are better able to regain their sense of power and security if they feel they can help in some way.
- Participate in community gatherings where people are connecting and demonstrating caring support and concern.
Additionally, the following web sites include helpful information:
American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/disastercomm.htm
American Psychological Association: http://helping.apa.org/therapy/traumaticstress.html
Take care, let us know what else we can do to be supportive in this trying time, and please remember that we can make and are making a difference for children.
Jonah Jonah Edelman
Stand For Children
September 13, 2001
Note: You'll find these articles at different web sites. Use the "back" button when you're done to return to this page.
Dr. Bruce Perry, an internationally recognized authority on children in crisis, compiled a listing of Resources for Children, Parents, and Teachers to Help the Victims of the Recent Tragedies:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/index.htm#articles . See also The ChildTrauma Academyhttp://www.childtrauma.org/ focuses on service, training and research in the area of child maltreatment. Includes a series of articles to help caregivers, teachers and parents better understand some of the effects of exposure to trauma on children. Site includes A Child's Loss: Death, Grief and Mourning: How Caregivers Can Help Children Exposed to Traumatic Death.
Coping with Death and Grief, Connect for Kids web site — Includes numerous links regarding:
- Strategies for Parents and Teachers
- Crisis Fact Sheet: Helping Children Cope with Trauma
- Talking with Children About Terrorism
- Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Events
- Zero to Three: How to Discuss Terrorism with Young Children
- ELE's Place Helps Families Cope With Loss
- All Kids Grieve
- Helping Kids Cope with Violence and Disaster
Helping Children Cope with Violence
How to Talk to Your Children About the News
Talking with Kids About the News
Responding to Tragedy: Resources for School-Based Programs, Crisis Tips for Parents
http://www.healthinschools.org/crisistips.asp (available in Spanish)
Helping.org is an easy-to-use, one-stop online resource designed to help people find volunteer and giving opportunities in their own communities and beyond — www.helping.org
Copyright 2007 by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
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