Five tips for supporting children impacted by natural disasters

This short article is a brief follow-up to Disaster Relief: Helping Children During (and After) Community Traumatic Events. You can access the full article by clicking here.

Here are my five tips for supporting children impacted by natural disasters, such as the current bushfire crisis in Australia:

  1. As far as possible, maintain normal routines, including in relation to mealtimes, bedtime, and daily activities.
  2. Check in with your child or children regularly throughout the day, without them having to do anything to get your attention.
  3. Instead of asking children what they are thinking or how they are feeling, say what you think is the answer to the question. Say what you see. Similarly, if you can anticipate a need or reasonable request that a child in your care might express to you, address the need/request before the child asks or does anything else to satisfy the need/request. Be proactive!
  4. Allow yourself to show/express your own matched distress/concern/worry about the traumatic event to the child, through briefly and in a measured way. A connection will be made with the child and their emotions. Return to calm. The child should follow.  
  5. Provide accurate/factual information, that is tailored to their age and maturity. 

For more information, including explanations for each tip, access the full article here.

If you received useful information this article and would like me to write about related topics, please leave a comment.

About colbypearce

I am a practising Clinical Psychologist with twenty-seven years’ experience working with children and young people recovering from abuse and neglect. I am also an author and educator in trauma-informed, therapeutic caregiving. My programs are implemented in Australia and Ireland, and I am well-known for my practical and accessible guidance for caregivers and professionals alike.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Fostering, kinship care, Parenting, Trauma, trauma informed, trauma informed care, Wellbeing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Five tips for supporting children impacted by natural disasters

  1. Steve Ross says:

    I have been reading posts regarding this topic and this post is one of the most interesting and informative one I have read. Thank you for this!
    Traumatic events take place involving children. It can be something as seemingly mild as a simple divorce, being picked on or belittled by friends or family members, or dysfunctional relationship to something severe as in physical/sexual abuse or witnessing a crime or murder.
    Check this out The Permament Effect of Trauma on Children
    Hope this will help. Thank you.

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