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Catastrophe in Japan: Helping Kids Watch the News

Dear Community,

Catastrophe in Japan: Helping Children Cope and Comprehend

Dr. Charlotte Reznic

“First it was this monster earthquake, followed quickly by the tsunami. Now there’s the possibilitiy of nuclear disaster. Normally the effects of a trauma are related to how far away one is. But with TV bringing intense images right into our homes 24/7, we are all affected – our children even more so.”

I’ve written on and given interviews about too many variations of this topic over the last several years. Starting with the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles, through the LA riots following the Rodney King verdict, the horror of 9/11, over to Katrina, the Haiti devastation, the Chilean minors, and more. And each time I believe it’s important to remind ourselves how to help our children. Here my latest version continues, published in the Huffington Post…..

The emotional effects of watching such a catastrophe can be tremendous.  Children and teens can feel especially helpless when they see these images of the devastation, including homeless and injured Japanese children and orphans on the news. Kids absorb worry and sadness from their parents, or from classmates who have family ties in Japan.

One of the difficulties experienced by parents is that they have not had adequate time to deal with their own reactions when they are called upon to deal with the impact on their children.

Emotional reactions vary in nature and severity from child to child. Their responses to a disaster are determined by age, previous experiences, temperament and personality, as well as the immediacy of the disaster to their own lives.

If you know a child who is showing signs of stress, worry or fear that may be related to the Japanese earthquake and its aftermath – such as stomachaches, sleeplessness, bedwetting, or moodiness – I’d like to offer some ideas about how to help kids comprehend and deal with such a catastrophe.

Please read the rest of my Huffington Post article for:

*  Tips to Help a Child Cope

*  How Kids Can Help Japan Right Now

*  How Kids Can Help When The Crisis Has Calmed, But Donations Are Still Needed

Please share your thoughts and children’s experiences. You can add your comments at the end of this Huffington Post article.

With love and light,
Dr. Charlotte


For more on this topic, see “Earthquakes, Floods, Terrorist Attacks, and More” in Chapter 7 of my book:

The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success (Perigee/Penguin).

ORDER HERE and receive 80+ free downloadable gifts.

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