Posts Tagged ‘ natural disasters ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Melamine Tableware May Leach Chemical: Study
A chemical that sickened and killed babies in China when it tainted baby formula can also leach off of tableware and into food, a new small study suggests. However, researchers said, that doesn’t prove the compound, called melamine, is harmful to kids and adults in the amounts detected when study participants ate hot soup from melamine bowls. (via Reuters)

How Disasters and Trauma Can Affect Children’s Empathy
Do children become more kind and empathetic after a disaster— or does the experience make them more focus more on self-preservation? The first study to examine the question in an experimental way shows that children’s reactions may depend on their age. (via TIME)

“Mail To The Chief” Program Sends Letter Of Advice To Obama On Inauguration
As President Barack Obama is publicly inaugurated for a second time Monday, thousands of K-5 students across the country are sending handwritten letters to the president offering advice on his second term. (via Huffington Post)

Longer CPR Improves Survival in Both Children and Adults
Experts from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were among the leaders of two large national U.S. studies showing that extending CPR longer than previously thought useful saves lives in both children and adults. The research teams analyzed impact of duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in patients who suffered cardiac arrest while hospitalized. (via Science Daily)

Study: How Parents Lie in the U.S. And China
Almost everyone teaches their children that lying is always wrong. But the vast majority of parents lie to their children in order to get them to behave, according to new research published in the International Journal of Psychology. (via Science Daily)

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Rosie to the Rescue: How Do You Explain a Hurricane to Kids?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Rosie Pope and FamilyCheck out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com! 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I’m left answering lots of questions from my 4-year-old. We live in New York City, and have a beach house on the Jersey shore. My husband and I went into the storm with optimism, minimizing the threat of a hurricane and the possible damage, because I simply didn’t want my big boy to worry. So while we talked a little about the winds and the waves, we focused more on the fact that we’d be able to stay home, play, and bake plenty of cookies. Still, with the nonstop reporting that we were all hooked to during the last few days, he witnessed a lot of the devastation on TV. We then received the news that we were going to lose our beach house, due to the water surge on the coast. So my son heard us talking extensively to neighbors, friends, and family.

Knowing how attached my son was to the house, I decided to address this disaster and use it as an opportunity to talk about what really matters. It’s so easy to focus on the disappearance of things and the overwhelming loss so many are feeling today, as they have lost their homes, and for some, so much more. My son’s focus was on what matters in his 4-year-old world: his favorite toys that he knew were washed away. So we talked (and talked) that while we were sad about losing these things, what is important, what truly matters, is that our friends and family are safe.

This opportunity reminded me not to underestimate the ability of a child to understand what’s going on around him, and to take on and feel the emotions that we’re going through, no matter how hard we try to hide them. I remembered it’s always better to talk to children so they understand what’s really happening, instead of letting their beautiful and wild imaginations fill in the blanks. This morning my son is a secure little boy knowing exactly what’s happened to our home and his toys, not worried about what he is seeing and hearing, because he understands what is truly important — and is back to playing search-and-rescue with his fireman figurines, which I’m sure is his way of working through his emotions about all that’s happened. So if I can share anything from my personal experience this week, it’s to protect your children, but be brave and answer their questions, empower them with the understanding of their environment, and most of all hold them close. If Sandy has brought any good, it’s to remind us what is really important.

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How Parents Can Discuss Difficult Topics

Monday, June 13th, 2011

parent-child-talkA few weeks ago, we shared a few tips from Project Recovery Iowa on how parents can talk to kids about natural disasters.

We interviewed Project Recovery Iowa to provide you with more advice on the ways parents can discuss catastrophes and tragic news stories without traumatizing children. Advice includes being sensitive to your children’s reactions and emphasizing the government’s progress to prevent/reduce suffering.

There is also helpful responses based on different age groups (ages 1-5, 6-11, 12-18) and ideas on how to cope with grief.

Read the full interview on how to talk to kids about difficult topics.

 

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Tips for Talking to Kids About Natural Disasters

Friday, May 27th, 2011

tornado-oklahomaNatural disasters are making the news again, the most recent being an endless string of tornadoes that struck mostly midwestern and southern states in the U.S., including Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri.  Increasing TV updates and news photos focusing on the death toll and destruction brings to mind other disturbing images of the Japan tsunami from March.

Parents.com consulted experts from Project Recovery Iowa, a  Department of Human Services program funded by FEMA and administered by the state of Iowa. Project Recovery Iowa offers mental health counseling for those affected by natural disasters.  The program was started in 2008 to assist people coping with the after effects of severe storms and flooding in Iowa.  Amanda Gesme, Children’s Manager at Project Recovery Iowa and licensed mental health counselor, shared advice on how parents can talk to kids about natural disasters.

First, parents should approach the topic of tragic events in a calm, patient, and truthful manner.  If your children are aware of current events, it’s ok to ask them first to start a discussion and answer questions, even ones that are repeated over and over.  Kids are looking for reassurance when processing information, so be open to talking.  Even if you don’t have all the answers, says Gesme, validate what your child tells you.  However, make sure to limit exposure to media or any unnecessary details.  “Children are smart — even if parents are careful and talk in whispers or behind closed doors, they know that ‘something’ is going on,” explains Gesme.  Even children as young as 2 years old are aware when something important is happening.

(more…)

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Talking to Kids About Tragedies and Disasters

Friday, March 11th, 2011

parent-child-talkThe 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan and caused a tsunami calls to mind other large-scale natural disasters from past years, such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. 

Oftentimes, talking about tragedies–whether worldwide or personal ones–can be difficult.  It involves explaining how and why bad things can happen to good people in the world, cultivating your child’s empathy and compassion, and making sure your child understands serious events without being too upset, scared or traumatized.

In light of this recent event, here are some guidelines to help you explain natural disasters and catastrophes to kids.

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