Natural Disasters Can Cause Anxiety in Children
A little over a week ago, terrible tornadoes hit all over the state of North Carolina. Many of them affected the Triangle area, even my very own neighborhood. Friends and family were displaced, lost homes, had minor to major damage, but most of all, in my opinion, the greatest impact was on the children in each household.
Where am I going with this? Know this quote? “A house is built with boards and beams; a home is made with love and dreams.” Well, home ownership is the American dream, and we buy with the intent to stay in our home for a very long time with our loved ones ~ our family, our children. Sometimes, natural disasters, just like the ones we had in our area a week ago, affect our home, but can be traumatic to those we love.
I’m a mother of three children, 2 girls (Lorin and Logan) and a boy (Jonathan), all under the age 12. Naturally, in my household just the mention of the word “storm” sends them into a frenzy. They get clingy, nervous, and very anxious. Usually, two of them (if not all) end up in my bed. Like I said earlier, when a storm is mentioned on the news, my middle girl becomes a nervous wreck. “Is it coming here? When? Watch or warning? Lightning or just rain?” We try our very best to distract her with games and chit chat, but at the same time, remind her of the noises she may hear. That helps her a lot!
What about when you can’t prepare your family for a tornado or storm? You can help your children through the emotional distresses after natural disasters by remaining as calm as possible and reassuring them that everything will be alright. Kinda hard to do, I know! We were hit too, but, fortunately, we were spared from damage to our home. However, it’s a day my kids and husband will never, ever forget. I won’t either!! The sounds, the wind, the flying debris, the pressure from the wind was terrifying!
In the confusion and frustration of repairing and rebuilding, please remember to pay attention to distresses in your kids as well. Some signs to look for include thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of the dark, loss of appetite, and so on. As parents, by nature we put our children first, but please don’t forget about yourself and seek the support you need.
That’s all for this blog. I truly hope that you’ve found it helpful. Thanks for your support of our future ~ our children.