How can we support children to grow resilient and effectively manage their emotions during times of crisis?
JFS' Associate Executive Director and Clinical Director, William Stover, LCSW, and other guests, discussed this question on the Grand Central Radio podcast, episode 10: Building Resilience During Disaster (May 27, 2022). Stover notes that when it comes to helping children and their caregivers overcome and recover from community disasters, we should remember to listen to and communicate with children in an age-appropriate manner. While it may be difficult to talk about traumatic events especially when emotions are high, Stover reminds us:
"...the simplest thing is to not try to fight [emotions]. What we’re trying to do is modeling for children--that even though the time is terribly traumatic, and it’s a terribly difficult time that arouses a lot of emotions, we can get through it as well. We don’t want the child to think that their emotions are inappropriate because no one else seems to be affected. So seeing an adult affected and yet recover through the day can help them understand it is okay to get help too."
While it may be hard to imagine the impact shared tragedies like community violence, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war, etc. will have on our lives and the lives of our children, the foundation in cultivating resilience includes coming together to talk about these events, allowing time and space for children and caregivers to express and acknowledge emotions surrounding what is being faced, and finding supportive communities to learn from and share resources with. Listen to the discussion by clicking on the link below.