Kreative Kids/Anniversary of 9/11 requires parents to help kids cope

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Five years after the terrible of events of Sept. 11, 2001, we find ourselves faced with the same images, concerns and fears as we try to make sense of it all. In addition, we have daily images of wars and security warnings. Most adults can pick up the pieces and go on, but children often cannot. What can we do to help our children through this?

 -- Keep children involved in activities, games, and outdoor activities that pull them away from the TV news.

 -- Keep regular schedules in your family life, such as school, meals, bedtimes and play times. The more normal we make life for them the safer they will feel.

 -- Realize that children might be more clingy and dependent than usual. Even if they aren't sure why, they sense something is going on and physical affection from a trusting adult can comfort them.

 -- Don't become obsessed with every news report and replay of everything that occurred on 9-11 and war images that followed. The more we are worried and concerned, the more children around us will be. Choose the times you watch news carefully and be mindful who is watching with you.

 -- If your child does ask questions about the events and our safety, reassure them America is safer now than then and point out steps that have been taken to ensure our safety.

Remember, whether we accept it or not, we are role models. Dr. James Bray, an associate professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston said, "Parents who manage stress well will have children who manage stress well."

Sites to visit on this subject: http://www.nasponline.org, http://teacher.scholastic.com and http://www.ChildTrauma.org

Copyright 2006 Darla Arni, www.darlaarni.com darni@sbcglobal.net (660) 529-2969