2. Be honest, explain the truth
Children have a right to truthful information about what is happening in the world but adults also have a responsibility to keep them safe from distress. Use age-appropriate language, be mindful of their reactions and be sensitive to their level of anxiety.
This video from ABC’s Behind the News
explains the bushfires in Australia through the eyes of children, using safe images and language that is easy to understand.
If you don’t know the answer to their questions, use it as an opportunity to explore the answers together.
3. Offer reassurance
Tell your children that you love them and remind them that the adults in their lives are doing everything they can to keep them safe. Plan to spend extra time with them as they get past the distress and anxiety. Children are resilient and hopeful.
4. Help children get back to their normal routine
We know from our work on the ground that it is extremely important for children affected by disaster to get back to playing and learning so that they can regain a sense of normalcy and routine.
In crisis spots around the world, UNICEF sets up child-friendly spaces where children have a place to feel safe, learn and play. Help your child regain a sense of normalcy by encouraging them to take part in activities they enjoy like playing with friends, reading and drawing.