06 February 2016

After A Disaster, Kids Don't Want To Talk About The Disaster

Ever read an article that just gets stuck in your belief system? This one did it for me. Kids don't want to talk about the trauma, they want to deal with current issues.

To quote straight from the article:

"A lot of the kids were like, 'We don't want to draw. We're not interested in talking about our Katrina experience,' " says Powell, now at the University of Illinois. "They said, 'We want to talk about all the other issues we're facing. There is a lot of scary stuff going on in our community. We don't know how to keep ourselves safe.'
"We realized these kids don't need to reprocess the storm over and over again," she says. "They need to talk about other adversities related to the storm."
Read the full article here.

And just to highlight one other piece:

What can parents do to help their kids cope with traumatic events?
If a parent is really stressed, the child will see that and have higher anxiety. That's just one of the things to recognize. Also, parents need to provide information to kids about what happened in the disaster, but not so much that they're terrified. Say there's a school shooting. Tell kids that, yes, this happened, but tell them what kinds of measures are in place to keep them safe. You also want to limit media. A lot of kids get secondary traumatic stress all over again. Listen to them, and don't minimize what's going on in school. Kids are so smart and so resilient and so creative. Most kids will overcome a traumatic event, given they have strong support networks and are in a safe environment.