Oklahoma Tornado: Helping Your Kids Cope In A Natural Disaster

Oklahoma tornado: helping your kids cope in a natural disaster
Family

Additionally, pack a duffle bag with your child's favorite things. Yes, you'll need the storm-prep materials of blankets and batteries, but don't neglect things like toys, small games, books, drawing materials, stuffed animals and snacks. If your child has a hand-held game, this is not the time to flip out about time limits. If it calms your child, it will calm you—remember that always!

If you are collecting items for donation, involve your child in the process. Let them pack boxes, choose items of their own to donate, even help with delivery.  Children are very caring and want to help when they are able. Notice if your child is getting too emotional over a specific item that you may need to let them hold on too for a while. The reality of other children losing their things may be getting to them and they will need a break.

Let your children be children. Most importantly, if your children want to play, retreat to be alone or act disengaged, let them have their space! Kids need frequent breaks from overly stimulating activities in order to process what is going on and deescalate. Always comfort them with a rub on the back or some words of encouragement to let them know you are there for them. Don't force them to be in sadness or despair with you. Play is a stress-reliever for kids. And who knows? Maybe if you got in there and played with them, you'd feel a heck of a lot better too?

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