Mommy Needs To Vent

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tragedy and Children



Lately it seems like one tragedy after another on the news.  I know everyone knows what I am talking about.  Do you think our children know it as well?  I live in Texas and have been affected greatly between hurricane Katrina and now Rita.  We have so many survivors of both hurricanes here now and I have wanted to help in as many ways as a can.  The sad thing is I haven’t thought about how this is affecting my 4 year old.  When you are living in the middle of it, it is constantly on the news and in his school.  He has children at his school now from New Orleans.  This can have an effect on him and I already believe it is.  When Rita was coming he asked me very disturbing questions such as, “Are we going to have to move to a different city” and “Are we going to die?”  Terrible questions for a four year old to ask.  This is probably my fault for having the news on twenty four hours a day.
     How can you help children deal with these kinds of feelings?  All ages will take it differently, but I am going to stick with the younger children.  I did much research to find out how I can talk to him.  What I found was strange but truthful.  You can help by letting your children express their feelings.  They might be sad or angry.  In his case he didn’t understand, but I do remember after Katrina him saying that he would be so sad if he lost his toys and couldn’t go back home..  You can also let them get involved; this will give a young child a sense of control.  My son helped me get things together to donate.  Now here is a weird suggestion I got off of another website, “To let your child act it out.”  Let them play out the hurricane so they can bring out the outcome themselves.  Give them blocks to knock over and hide toys in the rubble and let them find the toys.
     The best thing you can do to avoid this all together is to avoid the media exposure.  Limit the time you spend watching the news around your children.  It can be hard in a time of tragedy because that is all that is on and you want to see it.  Also a young child usually will lose interest in the news but sometimes the live reporting can show some scenes that may get your child interested.  Try to make sure you avoid this also.  If you believe your child is old enough to be involved in current events, try to find other ways of exposure such as newspapers of the internet.  You will have much more control on the content they see this way than what they show live on television.

(c) Copyright  2005 Mom Advice Central.  

5 Comments:

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Great blog entry. I agree. When I was teacher during 9/11 many students thought it was happening over and over again as thier parents would watch the news over and over again. It was hard to explain to them, so if you're a parent make sure your littles know the actual hurricane is over.

Cheers!
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