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By Tracey L. Hurd, Ph.D.
Tragedy calls and challenges us as people of faith. How can we make our children feel safe when we ourselves are deeply shaken? We simply do the best we can. We take small steps.
Adults' first priority must be to try to reduce children's fears and anxiety. Keep the family together, even when searching for assistance. The loss of routines and rhythms is disconcerting for children. They will be concerned that they could lose you, as well. Encourage children to ask questions, talk, and express their feelings. Be calm and straightforward in your responses. It's okay to tell children that there are some things you are still figuring out. Reassure them of your love. Affirm your commitment to getting family life back to normal.
A two- to three-hour workshop produced by the Unitarian Universalist Association guides multigenerational reflection and response, in the event disaster touches your community. Together in Faith (Word) (PDF): Finding Home in Times of Trauma or Disaster engages participants of all ages in partnership with others as they look compassionately and directly at the experience of loss and its meaning for them.
To help kids cope with disaster:
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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Thursday, December 20, 2012.
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