What Do You Say To Kids?
Even days after the fact, it’s not getting any easier to see the pictures or hear the stories. I’m Zulah Takmadge editor of The Shady Pines Gazette. Images of the aftermath from last weekend’s devastating tornadoes are plastered across screens everywhere.
For those of us who have covered the devestation hurricanes and other violent storms can cause, these latest scenes out of Kentucky, Illinois and other affected states, are really hard to comprehend. It makes you emotional seeing and hearing what people are going through. Imagine what children must be feeling!
I checked with a local health expert who said this can be very traumatizing to see, especially for your child. “I can’t emphasize enough that to have children sitting in front of the tv and watching this for a prolonged period of time, it will more than likely cause trauma,” says Stephanie Chambers Ph.D. achild pschologist at our hospital in nearby River City. Dr. Chambers has been counseling kids for some twenty years.
She said younger kids have a harder time processing events likes these. Those closer to their teenage years often look for answers.
“With young adults, adolescents, they are more likely to want more information about it. What’s happening? How is this happening? What are the facts,” said Dr. Chambers.
These are question one of our parents, Sally Appleby, hears from her two girls.
“Tornado drills, if it storms, ‘mama when is the earthquake going to hit?,” said Appleby.
“She gets so scared and I think I do sort of kind of and seeing what we’ve seen this last weekend, it really makes me scared,” said Criddle.
Dr. Chambers said if you see your child is having a hard time with these images to turn it off and have them do something simple and fun like draw a picture.
“Then after they have finished that ask them to tell that story to you. What does this mean for you?,” said Dr. Braun.
Collin Sheridan said he rather be honest with his children about what’s happening.
“They need to know what’s going on in the world too so I just try to treat them as close to adults as I can but then protect them in ways that I can,” said Sheridan.
“Just let them know that there is weather going on and we don’t have control on this but what we do have control on is right here in this moment we’re together, we’re safe, everything’s ok in this moment,” said Dr. Braun.
Dr. Braun suggests to keep an eye open for your child. If you are concerned contact a counselor for help.
What Can You Do?
Many of our neighbors here in Shady Pines Story Town are making contributions to some of the charities helping people affected by these deadly storms. I am going to provide a link here to an article describing agencies that are helping and how you can decide which is best for you. DONATE TO VICTIMS