Talking to your child about what to do in the event of an emergency is essential; it’s a tough topic every parent needs to be honest about with their children.This article by Anne Colby, Houzz U.S. Editor, provides discussion tips and ideas to help you speak with your child so they won’t get scared but will help get them prepared for emergencies.
Below are a couple of bullet points on how do you raise the subject without scaring them. "Your approach should vary with the age of the child, but, in general, the nonprofit Save the Children group and other emergency responders say you should":
- Listen. Find out what children know about disasters and let them express their feelings.
- Be honest. Tell the truth in an age-appropriate way. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information. If you don’t know something, let them know you’ll find the answer.
- Be reassuring. Acknowledge that disasters can be scary. Let them know you’re taking safety precautions and that you’ll show them what they should do.
- Limit graphic images. Don’t show children frightening pictures of disasters when talking about safety. Be aware of imagery in news coverage and turn off the TV when necessary.
- Make it a learning experience. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of disasters, play to children’s curiosity and make the topic educational. Use games and cartoons to help them learn.
- Talk about helpers. Highlight the people who often serve others in daily life and during disasters, and talk about the ways your children also can help.
- Empower them. Invite children to participate in the family’s emergency preparations.