Unless you have been living under a rock (and odds are it has been lifted by hurricane force winds) we are in the peak of hurricane season. Houston, TX has just endured Hurricane Harvey and the entire state of Florida has experienced Hurricane Irma.
A hurricane can be stressful to all family members. And how do you (yes, mom – you too) continue to keep it all calm, cool, and collected while we have no modern technologies to entertain the kiddos?
Here’s a couple of ideas of what you can do to keep your sanity and have the good times roll even without Netflix (it’s possible!).
• Limit TV time: Intense media coverage of disasters can frighten young children and disturb teenagers.
• Listen: Find out your child’s concerns about the situation. Children often cannot give meaning to a dangerous situation. Begin a dialogue to help them gain a basic understanding that’s appropriate for their age.
• Comfort: Let them know their safety is your top priority.
• Be Aware: Changes in routine behaviors, such as sleeping pattern or eating habits, can indicate distress. Seek professional support if they persist.
• Expect the unexpected: As children develop, their intellectual, physical and emotional capacities change.
• Make time: Help kids understand they are safe and secure by talking, playing and engaging in bonding family activities.
• Keep calm and carry on: Your child will learn how to deal with these events from you and will model his or her behavior after yours.
• Care: Make a point of showing sensitivity toward other families impacted by the disaster. This is an opportunity to teach your children that we all need to help each other.
• Routine: Help your children return to normal activities including school, sports and play groups.
• Volunteer: Helping others can give your child a sense of control, security and empathy.
Remember your kids are going to look for you as a model of how to react; giving the situation the appropriate seriousness — while not freaking out — will serve you all the best.