Parents and caregivers want to keep their children and loved ones safe above all else. When danger occurs, it can be difficult for adults to know how to support children and teens. While reactions to dangerous situations vary depending on a child’s age, caregivers can provide support with the following ideas in mind:
Use familiar routines to help children process emotions. Play, drawing and writing are helpful ways for youth to express their feelings.
Remind youth that the event was not their fault.
Allow kids to be with their family and friends.
Given kids an opportunity to help in a developmentally appropriate way.
It’s okay for kids to see adults cry. It sends a message that it is okay to express emotion.
Seek support from a mental health professional when needed.
Resources to help children cope with disasters: https://www.ready.gov/helping-children-cope https://www.nctsn.org/resources/help-kids-cope Resources to help children cope with mass violence: APA resources for coping with mass shootings, understanding gun violence School Shooting Resources | The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (nctsn.org)