Oklahomans have spent days watching the weather and devastation from tornadoes across our state. Nearby towns have experienced damage. The horrific tornado in Moore on Monday is upsetting to everyone. It is especially difficult for young children who don’t understand what’s going on. Even more upsetting is the fact that two schools were destroyed.
One of my co-worker’s young children thinks the tornadoes are coming to their house every time a warning is sounded. With the severe spring weather in Oklahoma, it’s important to have tools available to help calm children’s fears.
The information below is from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Much more information is available by following this link: http://www.nctsn.org/search/luceneapi_node/tornado.
Things often look very different right after a tornado. Houses and other buildings may be damaged. Trees may fall down. Yards and street may be full of rubble. Cleaning things up after a tornado is hard on everyone. Adults are upset and children sense this and become upset, too.
Children feel that another tornado will come and be worried about their parents or just plain worried or sad, angry, and scared when the weather looks bad.
Children also are confused by why tornadoes hit some houses and not others. The results are that children have a hard time paying attention and going to sleep.
It’s important for parents to ask children about their feelings. It’s also important for parents to keep children from watching the non-stop coverage of devastation.