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Helping children cope

Helping children cope

Episcopal Relief and Development offers ideas for working with children during and after disasters:

Tips for Working with Children:

LISTEN: If a child wants to talk about experiences or something he or she has seen on television, take time to listen to the story the child wants to tell or emotions or thoughts the child needs to express.

Take prayer requests: Ask children who or what they would like to pray about. Take their prayer requests seriously.

Acknowledge all emotions. Assure children they are safe and that you will get through any crisis together. Don’t try to “fix” children’s emotions. Don’t try to sugarcoat the situation.

Encourage children to draw or write as a means of expressing themselves.

Children often feel empowered and more confident if they can “do” something.

Consider making cards of encouragement for those affected by disaster or for first responders and relief workers.

Youth groups or older children might organize a fundraiser for those in need.

Limit exposure to media reports of the disaster.

Provide a quiet and calm place for children to play.

Teach self- soothing techniques such as taking deep breaths and spending time in silence.

Download the complete list of tips here.

Donate to Episcopal Relief and Development here

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