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Protecting Children After Disaster

• Physical complaints such as headache, stomachache, being have no  appetency

• Fear and anxiety.

• Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, nightmares (night terrors), shouting or yelling.

• Returning older children to bedwetting, clinging to parents, crying frequently, thumb sucking, fear of being alone.

• Being unusually active or aggressive or vice versa shy, quiet, introverted and being sad

• Difficulty focusing or maintaining attention

Remember that all reactions or problematic behaviors after a stressful experience are USUAL.

What You Can Do:

▪ Be open; when children ask what's going on, try to give age-appropriate correct information.

 ▪Take care to be together as much as possible and do not stay away from your child for a long time.

▪ If you need to leave, leave your child with a known adult in a place you know will feel safe, stable and comfortable. Tell him where you are staying and how he can contact you. Talk about how they will ask for help from others when they need it. Express that you will miss him while you are away.

▪ While going through this process, you may also have difficulties, but promise that you won't leave them willingly no matter what and that you will do everything in your power to protect them.

▪ Focus on being more patient, understanding and compassionate towards them about the changes in their behavior. Behaviors such as clinging to you and sleeping together can tire you out and overwhelm you. But these are the behaviors that the child exhibits with the need for security and attention.

▪ Express your love for your child with actions such as hugging, kissing, playing games or directly saying that you love them.

▪ Appreciate and praise the good things he does, even small ones.

▪ Doing good and helping heal children as well as adults. Have them help with the tasks they can do according to their age. Appreciate and thank them when they help.

▪ Even if you are very busy during the day, make time for your child. During these times, focus your attention on your child and the activity you are doing as much as possible. Listen with curiosity and try to understand what they are saying. While listening, you can ask questions about their experiences, feelings and thoughts.

▪ Don't promise your child things you can't do.

▪ Play and movement are natural healers of children. Make room for your children to play and move.

▪ Try to maintain daily routines such as sleeping and eating as much as you can. Incorporate school activities (painting, reading, math, writing) into your daily life, even if there is no school. Continuing daily life reinforces the sense of security for children.