The Moodsters “First Aid for Feelings” Workbook Download
Dear Parents, Grandparents, and Caregivers,
In the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, floods, and other severe weather events, many families have been thrust into extraordinary circumstances that can be life-changing, with short and long-term effects on children’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Even children who live far from these weather events can experience anxiety based on the images they’ve seen on TV, in print, or online.
Whether your child is upset by seeing the devastation on the news, or he is personally recovering from a natural disaster, previous experience has taught us that when a disaster strikes, grown-ups can make an enormous difference for children by providing safety, comfort, age-appropriate information, guidance, and reassurance.
Children’s reactions are greatly influenced by the behavior, thoughts, and feelings of grown-ups in their lives. Parents can be most effective when they remain calm and have the needed support to understand and manage their own emotions during these challenging times. Having a family action plan will strengthen children’s sense of safety and security.
Once a child’s immediate physical needs have been met, meeting their emotional needs is key to helping them deal with their confusion, anxiety, and fear. Children’s reactions will vary, but it’s important to observe children’s behavior, while listening carefully to what they are saying. Acknowledge their concerns and validate their feelings; in addition to helping them in the moment, this will foster future conversations about what will happen next. Encourage children to talk about their thoughts and feelings and, if they are having difficulty expressing their emotions, encourage them to draw a picture or tell a story of what happened. Teach simple coping strategies – such as taking a few deep breath’s and slowly exhaling, or getting some exercise, or playing – to help reduce and manage children’s stress and anxiety.
The First Aid for Feelings children’s workbook can be used to enhance communication and encourage the expression of feelings associated with grief and loss. These activities can also teach coping skills that can last a lifetime. Please ensure that children use this workbook under the guidance of a parent.
Denise Daniels RN, MS