Family Safety Tip: How to talk to your kids about Japan
With all the coverage of the devastating Japan earthquake on TV, many children may have questions regarding what is going on. Here are some guidelines on talking to your kids about the disaster, adapted from material provided by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, headquartered at UCLA in Westwood.
1. Develop an environment that supports communication.
2. Answer children’s questions truthfully.
3. Express your own thoughts and concerns; it can help children talk about their own feelings as well.
4. Monitor children’s exposure to disaster-related media coverage.
5. Monitor adult conversations in front of children about the disaster.
6. Identify ways for your child to help. Children gain self- esteem and a sense of how to respond constructively.
7. Are there families at your school who may have suffered loss or worry about family living in Japan? Providing support to these families and children can also be a helpful step.
8. Use this time to talk with your children about the needs of others who may be in difficult circumstances, both in Japan as well as in your community. Consider ways that your family may want to address these needs.