Calming Frightened Children

Discussion in 'Mental Preparedness' started by ziskasun, Jun 21, 2016.

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  1. ziskasun

    ziskasun New Member

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    For most parents, the thought of disaster striking while our kids are still young and vulnerable is a sobering thought. If you still have young kids at home, it is important to consider how to keep them calm during a crisis. Of course, training will help. Disaster drills, and getting them familiar with tools, different foods, and some different ways of doing things is always good practice. I wanted to leave some suggestions specifically for quieting or calming children when they are on the verge of panic.

    Keep items in your emergency storage such as a child's favorite book or doll.
    Have a small item that a child can play quietly with (to distract them) with such as bubbles, or playdoh.
    Keep a small stash of little candies. Yes, a little stick of gum or a life saver can do the trick.
    Teach your kids to pray. This will give them a good constructive thing to do and focus on.
    A small musical instrument can be helpful. something like a harmonica, or a recorder.
    and remember to not panic you are reacting is key in helping them stay calm.
    sunnytn likes this.
  2. evergreen

    evergreen Member

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    This is VERY important. When I lived overseas, the "mock bomb drills" at the embassy were horrifying with small children. They would wail and scream, leaving me with memories of screams. And all we were doing was practicing to sit in a basement until "sweeps" and the clear came in from the troops. I am not a parent so I do not know how to solve this, but it is a concern especially in giving away location.
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

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    I really do wish that we could keep religion out of this forum, I have banned any mention of religion or praying from my own survival forum. I guess I will just have to learn to ignore it, but I find it so irksome. I understand that many people just can't handle life without believing in some invisible all powerful being, even if this being actually has no real power, & apparently according to the church allows people to die because they are needed elsewhere. The other reason given is that the people turned their backs on their god & so their god turned its back on them!!! Adults have a choice whether or not to believe in an invisible all powerful entity, children in my opinion should not be taught that such a thing exists until they are old enough & mature enough to be able to make up their own minds.

    Am I being unreasonable? Am I being unfair in having this belief? To a believer in religion I probably am, but right there is a good reason for not mentioning religion on this type of forum. I am sure there must be forums for religious people where they can communicate & share their views.
    Valerie likes this.
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    A kindergarten teacher once was a guest in an affair in the office. The topic was about making children obey instructions. I remember the line she said about playing games to divert the attention of the children thereby would later be unconsciously following the discipline that we were imposing. Maybe that can do the trick during a disaster. When the children start to cry, all the others would be crying and sometimes even the adults would join in the crying time. How about engaging the children in a game? Not hide and seek though but something like a "bring me" game or a "find me" game that is easier to accomplish. I'm sure the children's focus will be diverted and their spirits will be lifted with an enjoyable game.

    I remember when I was young and there was a typhoon during dinner time, the electricity was gone without warning. We children would huddle in the living room, feeling scared with only a candle fighting the darkness of the night. My eldest brother would be making animal shadows with his hands and me and my siblings would try to guess if it's a bird or a dog. That game would make us feel comfortable despite being in the dark.
  5. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

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    Great tips, OP. Though I do agree with Keith on the religious note. Meditation is equally calming and can be interwoven with one's personal religious beliefs if desired.

    Other than that, I think the idea about keeping "distractions" on hand is key. Even for adults who are vulnerable to panic attacks and hyperventilating. The other thing I think is worth mentioning is the power of touch.
    A frightened child will react well to just having their hand held. Giving them a hug, making them laugh, and getting them to focus on your voice (which is hopefully soothing) might be better than trying to make them play with something.
    I'd be afraid to give a frightened child candy, though. If something happens while they are eating or chewing, they could inhale the food--and then we have a whole other issue to deal with.
  6. hades_leae

    hades_leae Active Member

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    I can't imagine what type of pain a parent would feel knowing that they can't calm their kids because of the surrounding events. It really is easy to manipulate a child's mind because they are children, their mind is easy to play with. I had a situation where my sisters baby was witnessing a domestic problem unfolding, he cried, and screamed.

    I took him into another room and just started talking and playing with him. His view on what was going on changed almost immediately, he stopped crying and started smiling and playing again which was all I wanted to see because it hurts to watch a child experience fear, or unpleasant emotions that you know you would not want to experience yourself.
  7. NormaD

    NormaD New Member

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    I am lucky enough to have kids who are level-headed and calm. We have been through a couple of situations in which I'm sure a lot of other kids might have been so scared and unable to cope with, but it turns out that all the training and drilling has conditioned my kids to shine in a crisis. They stay calm and try their best to stay out of the way of others who are trying to help while they themselves are doing whatever they can. Even if it's just holding someone's hand.
  8. Moroccanbeauty2266

    Moroccanbeauty2266 Active Member

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    I have three small kids and I think as long as I remain calm and they see that it will help them to stay calm as well.
    As soon as I freak out they will instantly react the same way. One of my strengths is my patience and I always teach my kids to stay patient even if it is hard.
    Of course, comforting them in case they still feel scared is very important and that is when giving hugs and holing their hand comes in.
  9. iseeyou

    iseeyou Member

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    It's best to reassure them that everything is fine and be an example of a perfect calm and collected adult. Children are impressionable, if you tell them there's nothing to worry about and as long as the see you're fine, they will relax and let go of the issue.
  10. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana New Member

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    I believe that if a parent panics, the children would surely follow suit. If a parent is able to remain calm and optimistic, the children are much more likely to behave in the same manner. Of course a parent remaining calm doesn't guarantee that the kids will too, but it definitely helps. Keeping the kids informed on what the plan is and what to expect could keep confusion and anxiety from taking over.

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