How to Talk to Your Child About Natural Disasters
1. Explore your child's thoughts. If they ask a question on a recent event inquire further. Find out what they know and how they feel about it. Don't assume.
2. Validate their feelings. For example, " I can see that you feel scared.”This will encourage your child to talk to you in the future about their feelings and let them know it's okay to have these feelings. Statements like "don't feel scared" do not stop a child from having fears - that is about you not them.
3. Follow up with a reason why they do not need to feel scared, such as "Parents and schools have plans to keep kids safe, it rarely happens here."
4. If appropriate it is helpful to get concrete. For example, "Mom has lived here for 30 years which is 10950 days and we have never had an earthquake in all those days."
5. Keep explanations simple.
6. Offer a way for your child to help such as gathering clothes or food to send to those in need - or offer a volunteer experience close to home where your child can feel helpful.