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Family Counselor Offers Post Hurricane Advice For Parents and Children

sad child 2
(Photo by allspice1, Flickr)

Some local school counselors are asking parents to help their kids readjust to life and school after the Sandy devastation with the following advice:

Gail Poverman Kave, Family Counselor specializing in Children and Adolescents offers these tips:

1. Mood is contagious. If we are calm and maintain reasonable emotional expressions, our children will be less likely to become overly anxious, angry or sad.

2. It’s okay to express sadness over the loss of personal belongings. Although they are just things, they hold memories and have significance to us. Keeping things in perspective is important.

3. Reassuring children that even though we are not in control of things like the weather and power outages, we are in control of how we deal with these things. We can allow ourselves to feel helpless because of them or empowered in spite of them.

4. Some children may seem as if they don’t care or may even laugh at some of the destruction that they see around town or on tv. This is a defense mechanism and should not be seen as insensitivy.  Acknowledge that these sights and images are indeed upsetting and sometimes we laugh when we’re too scared to cry.

5. Some children, and parents, may experience survivor guilt. Having lost nothing but electricity may leave some wondering “Why did I get by unscathed”? Understanding that this was just a random event that did not have anything to do with anyone personally is very important.

6. Volunteering to help those who have been severely impacted is very good for everyone’s well being.


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