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Coping with Stress

After a Natural Disaster: Your Elementary Aged Child

Rose Allen, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

Reviewed May 2013 by Ellie M. McCann, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency.

Life can be disrupted for everyone involved in a natural disaster, including children who are in kindergarten through grades 5 or 6.

Some school age children may be directly affected by the loss of their home or possessions. For the children who have not directly experienced the effects of the disaster the impact is the loss of their sense of predictability and security. Watching the weather updates and having your community inundated with heavy equipment, volunteers and major mess is enough to jolt any of us out of our sense of wellbeing.

If you have an elementary age child, or work with children this age, here are some things to keep in mind:

As difficult as it may be right now for you, your family and your community, think about the stories you will have later. Help your elementary age child be a part of that story. In the near future your child will look back and take pride in their ability to get through tough times.

Related Resources

Partnering for School Success — Builds strong parent-child relationships through education and collaboration.

Extreme Weather — Extension resources for floods, wind damage, winter impacts, and more.

After a Natural Disaster: A Guide for Parents — Signs of stress in kids of varying ages.

It’s Important to Talk with Children about Natural Disasters — Make time to ask questions and listen; be available.

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