By: Leslie Barrows
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Talking to Kids About Natural Disasters
Kids worry, can it happen natural disasters to us? If someone in your family watches The Weather Channel or news or programs about hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes your son or daughter might be hearing and thinking about more than you know. Doesn’t it make sense that if dad is watching these programs, he is concerned?
Talking to your kids about natural disasters can ease their worries. You can ask if they have heard about the recent hurricane, for example, and their response might surprise you. Some may be completely unaware, others may be scared but not let on, and yet others shrug it off because it is far away. Regardless of their opinion, it is good to say something more than agreeing, “Glad it’s not here.”
What Happens to the Victims of Natural Disasters?
It is important to reassure children that they are okay and if something happened, there is a plan and we would all be okay. “But what about those kids who didn’t make it in the tornado?” At various ages of awareness, parents need to be selective in what they tell their kids, considering their age and emotional maturity. It is good to play it safe when answering questions, without obviously lying or giving your child a false sense of reality that could later lead them to be untrusting.
Talking about hurricanes can be interesting, for example, because even though the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast still affect us in North Texas with rain and flooding. Explaining the effect of weather on more people than those immediately impacted by the force of a storm is a good way to show that even though it does not seem to matter, it really can.
Making Family Plans for Natural Disaster Evacuation and Emergency Preparedness
Floods and tornadoes are common natural disasters known to North Texas and we can make sure our children know what to do in the event of an emergency. Starting with drills about getting to safety or finding a place to stay safe is helpful. Nowadays, kids might not know your phone numbers because you all have cell phones and there is no landline at home, so how will they try to contact you or another adult in an emergency if the family is not together. There are so many scenarios to consider. At the end of the day, it is good to drill home a few points and things your child will remember when it comes to being ready for natural disasters.
Southlake divorce attorney at The Barrows Firm, Leslie Barrows is the mother of boys and appreciates parents’ concerns about natural disasters and how their children may respond, and she is always happy to answer questions when you call her at (817) 481-1583.