What you can expect at this ageWhen a big calamity happens , the little children can move profoundly. It does not matter if it is a natural disaster (flood or fire) or caused by humans (a terrorist act or a revolt) - such events undermine the deep need of a child in kindergarten to see the world as a safe and predictable place ,
A small child can respond to the news in very different ways. If it is not directly affected by the event and it does not see TV pictures repeatedly, it may show little or no response.
A child at this age reacts more to the grief of the parents than to others. It is important that you try to control your own emotions in the presence of your child and assure him that it is safe. Do not look in the family circle news. Your child can not handle these often oppressive and shocking pictures. Only for school children there are z. B. child-friendly news in the children's channel.
Children who are struggling with other traumas at the same time - such as a divorce or a death in the family - are more likely to develop fears in such a situation.
But even if everything else in your life is okay, your child may be able to respond to decrements in development because it senses your fears or worries (or those of other people around him). The fears of the child could show up with quirks, aggression or even nightmares. Also, frequent waking up at night can be part of it.
Take your child's worries seriously and give him a lot of closeness and physical contact when you realize that something is busy (but of course!). Encourage him to sleep with his favorite doll or night light if he so wishes, even if six months ago he decided it was too old for such help.
If you think that your child does not express their feelings, but is nevertheless very worried or scared, then pay attention to non-verbal signs such as broken sleep rhythms, angry or sad doodles and dark, brutal drawings or unusual restrained or aggressive play with other children.
After a disaster, one of the biggest losses - apart from the loss of life - is the loss of control. Children have almost no control over their lives, and seeing their parents do not have them makes them incredibly scary.Therefore, parents, even when they are worried, should show some degree of control.
The most important place where children control is the household is its daily routine. Do not miss meals or nap. Go to the park as usual to play games, bring your child to bed on time and make sure that the normal daily routine is observed in kindergarten. If you make sure your child feels safe, then routine is just right.
What you can talk aboutThe motto should be short and reassuring.
A nursery-age child may ask questions that are only indirectly related to the concrete calamity - such as, ""What happens when people die?"" You can use his question as a springboard to talk about death, but In that case, your child's real concern is, ""Am I in danger?"" Make sure your child is safe and that you and the rest of the family are. ""We're all okay and we'll be okay in the future"" are important words to hear.
Confirm his feelings.
Resist the temptation to say ""Do not be sad / angry / worried. "" You also want to be taken seriously. Your child's feelings are real and it must be able to express them. Instead of countering, you could say, ""I know that you are worried because you have heard so much about the terrible fire. Fortunately, we are far from the fire and our house is safe. ""
Use the event to teach your child compassion and tolerance.
A child in kindergarten may have heard that a terrorist act is"" bad. "" People who got angry ""was raised. Remind it that no man should use force to express his anger. ""Everybody gets angry sometimes, but we try not to hurt other people. We try to use words to solve our problems. ""
Tell your child that adults are working to keep themselves and everyone else safe.
Children of this age often assume that a misfortune is somewhere In the world next, she and her family will meet, and adults can sometimes find it difficult to calm down because they may be scared of flying or live in an earthquake area, but you can tell your child (and remind yourself) That many people work to make us all safe Talk about the jobs in which people from the Federal President to the local policeman work to prevent further misfortune.
Be prepared to pick up on this topic again and again.
Do not be surprised if your child repeats the same questions repeatedly, but she does not understand constancy yet, even though it might be about death or collapsing buildings It is expected that things will magically return to their normal state and may be puzzled if that does not happen.Perhaps your child will also ask you if it finds that in a few days, everything is back to normal.
Be prepared to say not about it.
If you are sure that your child has heard little about the event and has not been traumatized by it, you should not force the matter on him. At his age, it is okay not to notice frightening local, national or international events.
Strengthen your child without words.
Some of the clearest clues to how worried your child is are not words - but play, sleep, and eating habits, whether it's whining or clinging or re-adopting toddler or even baby habits. Then it's important that you also respond to it without words, and still reassure your child that everything will be fine. If it seems to be anxious or restless, hug and kiss it more often. Above all, you should maintain the normal routine to strengthen your sense of security in your daily family life.
Play with children who can not speak yet.
Even if your child is still too small to ask detailed questions or express their feelings, it may be scared or disturbed by the mood around them. To help a young child express his emotions, you should sit down on the floor and start playing - do puppet show, paint pictures and read books - these things can help young children express their emotions. If your child paints pictures and then wants to tear them apart, that's fine. It's a completely natural way to cope physically with frustration and anxiety.
You may also want to consider making a playful situation where your child can scare you. ""If you're scared, but happy, it'll make you laugh because someone taller than yourself is in a vulnerable situation,"" says family therapist Alison Ehara-Brown. ""That's what makes it possible for him to have a feeling to regain control and allow him to deal with his fears. ""
Believe in your ability to help.
As a parent, you face the challenge of helping your child to feel safe while feeling unsure about themselves. Remember to limit access to repetitive and frightening news, maintain calming routines, and provide concrete assistance to victims (such as collections or direct involvement in relief efforts) - all this will reassure you and your child.
If you help yourself to dealing with the trauma, you are also helping your child. ""Children are wonderfully elastic,"" says psychiatrist Flemming Graae.""With support, most children cope well with special situations.""
What children ask ... what adults answer""Why are you crying?""
You can tell your child, ""I'm sad because some people hurt me ""If it has more questions, answer as simply as possible, but remember that a child is shocked at that age when they see a mysterious event that does not understand them, shocked you or Try to hide your strongest reactions while your child is present.
""Why did people die?""
A possible reaction your child may have to news may be simply an attempt to learn what actually happened. Be prepared for many ""why"" questions, such as ""Why did the plane crash? "","" Why is the house burned in the fire? ""Why did the cars have an accident?"" Their answers should be straightforward and as simple as possible: ""The plane crashed because something was wrong with the engine."" ""It rained so much that the river could not pick up the water and part of the water flooded the land."" ""It was a very hot and windy day and the fire started in the dry bushes."" Emphasize that headlines like these are very rare.
""Are Grandma and Grandpa Alright?""
Children of all ages usually see an immediate danger to themselves and their loved ones. """" Your kindergarten-age child does not understand that Granny and Grandpa are far away from the disaster in a very different part Assure him, ""Yes, they are fine, they are far, far away from the place where those terrible things happened, would you like to call them right now and talk to them?"" Questions related to this could be ""Will I be okay? ""Will our house burn?""
""Are monsters under my bed?""
Children who have heard of exciting events may become afraid of strangers, monsters, darkness, or other unknown things. These phenomena are easier for children to conceive than the abstract idea of a forest fire or a plane crash. Calm your child, if it has such fears, with concrete measures: ""No, under your bed and nowhere else there are monsters. Let's have a look so you can see that monsters are not real. ""You do not need to explain anything to him about the 'monsters' in the real world, and your child just wants to be reassured by being safe in his own bed at night and being able to sleep in peace.