What You Can Do To Help After The Initial Crisis
Help For You and Your Family
- Recognize your own feelings.
- Talk to others about your feelings; this will help relieve your stress and help you realize that your feelings are shared by other victims.
- Accept help from others in the spirit in which it is given. Wouldn't you help them?
- Whenever possible, take time off and do something you enjoy.
- Get enough rest.
- Get as much physical activity as possible, such as running or walking.
- Give someone a hug; touching is very important.
Help for Your Child
- Talk with your child about his or her feelings and your feelings. You will find that many of your feelings are shared, whatever your child's age. Encourage your child to draw pictures of the incident. This will help you understand how he or she views what happened.
- Talk with your child about what happened, providing factual information that she or he can understand.
- Reassure your child that he or she, and you, are safe. Repeat this assurance as often as necessary.
- Work closely with teachers, daycare personnel, babysitters and others who may not understand how the event has affected your child.
- Review safety procedures that are now in place, including the role your child can take.
- Hold your child. Touching provides extra reassurance that someone is there for her or him.
- Spend extra time with your child, especially at bedtime.
- Relax rules, but maintain family structure and responsibility.
- Praise and recognize responsible behavior.
Help for Your Community
- Listen when you can to those who are having problems.
- Share your own feelings about the experience.
- Be tolerant of the irritability and short tempers others show - everyone is stressed at this time.
- Share information on assistance being offered and possible resources.
If any of your responses are severe, or they continue to persist for an extended period, we encourage you to seek help for yourself, your child, or your family member. Sometimes we all need someone to lean on for a short while.