Talking with children about severe weather events

The images of flooding and destruction coming out of Texas are hard to watch, especially for children.

ST. LOUIS - The images coming out of Texas in the wake of Harvey are hard to watch — especially for younger kids.

Jane Smith is a counselor and runs Provident Life Crisis Services. She said the devastating flooding happening in the south right now might remind children of the severe weather here earlier this summer. She said it can be especially difficult if your child already has anxiety during storms, or if your family has been impacted by weather events in the past.

Helping them deal with their feelings starts with talking to them. Make sure the kids understand their fears are legitimate but help them rationalize their fears and understand the differences in their situation.

“A lot of what we want to do involves honesty safety and support,” said Smith. “Let them know that you understand that they’re concerned and those are valid concerns, and the other side of that is we’re safe and we’re supported. And maybe we can find ways to help the people that are struggling with that situation.”

Smith says to pay attention to how much media your child is consuming, and like in any situation — don’t be afraid to cut them off if it appears to be harmful.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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