As the recent news of the earthquake continues to come in, the Haiti situation looks grim. When serious events such as this happen, kids (especially younger ones) naturally turn to their parents for explanations and reassurance. Here a few pointers on helping guide your kids through the emotions resulting from serious natural disasters:
- Ask them if they've heard about these events. If they are in school, they might have also discussed it there. Ask them what they think about the event, and if they have any concerns related to it.
- Assure them that you care for them and are doing everything you can to keep them safe. Answer any questions they have for you; it is important that children have a sense of hope and perspective on natural disasters.
- Work with your kids to develop positive and constructive action steps to respond to the disaster. Children like to do things that make a difference in the world. Be creative. Encourage your children to write letters or donate "piggy bank" money to relief efforts. Pray with your children for the people who were affected. Help them focus on helping others in their time of need.