Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, September 5, 2005

Helping Children Handle Disaster-Related Anxiety

"Children sense the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, children experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that disaster-related stress can bring about. Unlike adults, however, children have little experience to help them place their current situation into perspective. Each child responds differently to disasters, depending on his or her understanding and maturity, but it’s easy to see how an event like this can create a great deal of anxiety in children of all ages because they will interpret the disaster as a personal danger to themselves and those they care about." Preschool children need the opportunity to discuss concerns and be reassured that they are safe. Grade-school age children ask many questions and benefit from clear, simple answers, not false reassurance. Adolescents may down-play their real concerns. By the National Mental Health Association. For More Information

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