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Change and Stress
Change, whether planned or unexpected, is hard for young children to understand and accept. When change happens because of a natural disaster or other crisis, loss adds even greater stress. Children may have a hard time talking about their feelings, but you often can see telltale signs of distress. According to "Tips for Talking to Children After a Disaster" (PDF) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), children may:
What can you do to help?
Change is stressful, and even harder for young children to handle if their routines are disrupted. Start each day by talking about and planning what your child will do that day. As soon as possible after a move or a crisis, it's good to get back into a daily routine. Even if it's a different routine in a different place, knowing what's planned helps young children feel more secure.
Information and brochures from SAMHSA provide excellent talking points for parents.
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Updated on 3/21/2012