Children must be taught on disaster control and how to respond during natural calamities. They need to be taught the key measures on how to respond during and after natural calamities. Natural disasters are traumatic for these young children because they can be quite violent and dangerous. These natural disasters include an earthquake, a storm, which is a horrific devastation to the environment. The child’s sense of security is threatened and he/she will find this confusing especially if it happens when the parent is not in the house. Making them cope well with these calamities would be a big help.
Children learn to take their cues from the adults in their lives. So, as parents, you need to acknowledge the reality of the situation to your child so that he is assured that everything can be taken cared of. Assure them that their family and friends will take care of them no matter what happens. You need to encourage that they open up to you so that they can release whatever feelings they may be repressing as a result of the trauma of the calamity. Strategies such as drawings and music or drama can bring out their fears in a creative way. There are activities that should help your children to apply problem-solving skills to these stressors.
Calamities may not happen often but when they do, they are able to respond well if you as the adult in their life, are able to respond well yourself. Some children may be at a risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some may be irritable, others may do the opposite and just sleep their stress away. But if the different kinds of help are there to help them cope with it, then they normally will be able to bounce back. If you cannot assume the role of a counselor during these times because of the gravity of the situation and the children’s reaction to the event, you yourself need to consult a psychiatrist and discuss how best to help the children in your care.
Some of the more common and practical solutions would be classroom discussions and small group counseling. There also needs to be a referral system that you need to put in place so that there will be a parent-referral system that could help you and the kids. Another strategy that can be done is to help children to recall past ways with which they coped with the stresses in their lives. A mechanism also needs to be in place for self-referral and parent-referral of students. Remember that you need to be strong for your children. If they see that you are able to cope well with the situation, they will also learn how to deal with the event. Be very responsive to the way you deal with the relocations that will entail along the way. Changing locations will be a stressful one especially when the child is attached to his home.