How to communicate with children after an earthquake?
In the world we live in, we are faced with dozens and hundreds of news every day, wake up to shocking events from different parts of the world, natural disasters on our agenda We can try to get through the painful days. Breaking news, social media posts, personal phone calls, conversations and more may take place in the environment where our children are present. In the natural course of life, it is often possible and not realistic to completely shield children from negative news, but there are many things we can do to lessen the severity of the impact.
Just as we adults feel bad in the presence of such disasters as war, terror, flood, earthquake; If we are engaged in psychological and emotional warfare, a similar situation applies to children. Moreover, their difficulty is at a much more critical point, because they do not know what it is, why it happens and what it means.
While we do our best to support both individually and socially, after the great earthquake in which our pain is still very hot, many provinces of our country were affected and millions of hearts bled to death. To ensure that children suffer as little as possible from this sensitive period, We wanted to get together and share a few questions.
their children listen “actively”, don’t ignore your feelingsagainst them as much as possible. to be honest, to inappropriate content (wounded, lined, destroyed, etc.) not to be exposed are the most important steps to mitigate the traumatic effects of such a disaster. What to do then, how to talk to children when they continue to hear and see the news about the earthquake?
- Knowing that children can ask questions create an open, comfortable and supportive environment. But be careful not to force them as you do so. Talking about such sensitive issues with children can have negative consequences if they are not ready. Tell them what they need, ask and what they need to know, according to their age.
- Accurate Information Share it honestly. For example, in order not to be afraid of an earthquake, do not make statements such as “don’t worry, an earthquake will not happen here or it has passed and will not happen again,” which can harm perception as well as reality and undermine their trust in you and life in the event of a possible repetitions.
- Do not rush to listen or answer questions, be patient. Children may find it difficult to understand, accept and process some of the information you share or some of your comments. Therefore, they may ask the same question over and over again. At this point, you should understand and be willing to explain over and over again.
- Acknowledge children’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions and let them feel that their concerns are important and that you understand them. No Don’t underestimate their concerns.
- Children’s situations often Remember that they are prone to personalization. They may worry about themselves, close family members or friends. So let them feel safe. However, to reassure, avoid unrealistic rhetoric; For example, you cannot promise that another earthquake will not happen. let them know You are with them and you care about their safety.
- Own try to keep your words, emotions and behavior under control. Yes, it can be difficult, but remember that children are very good observers. They literally remember your reactions and statements, and your anxieties and fears are transmitted to them. It helps to try to be a little calmer, especially around children.
- People working in difficult situations affected by the earthquake, Mention that thousands of people bring aid to the cities. Name the institutions and organizations, what they do, what work they do in earthquake zones. Talking about helping people and knowing that there are people helping them can help kids feel a little better and they may start to think that help can be reached in the event of a possible earthquake.
- Just like emotional and psychological reactions Also be aware of the physical reactions of children.. It is helpful to watch and take precautions against various physical symptoms, especially headaches, abdominal pain, and sleep disturbances.
- If a similar situation has happened before, and especially Children may be more vulnerable and vulnerable if there has been recent trauma or loss from an earthquake. At this stage, it may be more effective to get professional support.
- Most importantly, be careful to keep kids as far away from active news as possible. For example, the number of injured, deaths, collapsed buildings, aftershocks. exposure to content that causes anxiety and fear can make things difficult for them.
On the other hand, it is also very important to control how children spend their time at home, due to the fact that all schools are closed until February 13, 2023, and snowy and stormy weather reigns throughout the country. to the decision taken by the Ministry of National Education throughout Turkey. During this period, you can devote time to various activities in order to distract children from the media at least a little:
- Solve together activities such as lego, puzzles, crosswords, sudoku, tangram, organize small competitions among family members to make it more fun.
- Organize mini quizzes, plan a home event where everyone can participate and ask questions appropriate for the age group.
- Organize reading hours and read with the whole family. Or read a short story together and discuss it in a question and answer format.
- Colored mandala books for children and adults; Swap books of different colors and make a joint interactive coloring.
- Put on small performances such as charades, mini-theatres, puppet shows, give everyone a role.
- Play board games like Monopoly, Uno, Taboo, Scrabble, Chess, Ludo.
- Take the time to make something out of various materials such as plasticine, kinetic sand, clay, which can have healing and relaxing effects.
- Collaborate in the kitchen and cook together recipes that kids will love.
- Call your loved ones, make video calls, schedule online meetings with classmates.
- Limit the use of technologies such as phone, TV, tablet and, as much as possible, control the apps your child uses, the websites they visit, the channels they watch.
- If the weather conditions are right, try to spend time in nature every day, even for a short time.
On top of all this, try to do as much household chores as possible. It is very important to keep your children’s daily routines going without disrupting their habits such as bedtime and eating habits.
We sincerely wish that all parents and dear children go through this process in the healthiest way possible.
You may also be interested in: 5 practical tips to help kids deal with stress
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