Natural Disasters: Talking with your kids and how to help

 
Natural Disasters: Talking with your kids and how to help

The recent disasters in Oklahoma have a lot of people talking, including kids. Many hear the news; they know other kids are hurting – so what do you say? How do you answer their questions?
 
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) reports that children do best when parents and teachers answer children's questions honestly and respond as best they can. They recommend adults follow a few simple rules to help kids through their tornado experience: 
 
  • Be a role model. Try to remain calm so that you can teach your child how to handle stressful situations.
  • Monitor adult conversations. Be aware of what adults are saying about the tornado or the damage. Children listen to adults' conversations and may misinterpret what they hear, becoming unnecessarily frightened.
  • Limit media exposure. Protect your child from too many images and descriptions of the tornado, including those on television, on the Internet, on radio and in the newspaper.
  • Reassure children that they are safe. You may need to repeat this frequently after the tornado passes. Spend extra time with them, playing games outside, reading together indoors or just cuddling. Be sure to tell them you love them.
The NCTSN provides useful tools to parents and teachers that are specific to natural disasters like Oklahoma has experienced this spring. To learn more, view thier tornado recovery page.  
 
 

How to Help

Many want to know how they can help families involved the recent tornados. The public has been asked to support all rescue, recovery and disaster relief efforts with donations to thier favorite responding charity. Several organizations are listed the right for your consideration.
American Red Cross
Catholic Charities
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma