Emergencies are never stress-free. I was reminded last week with the anniversary of 9/11, as well as the second US hurricane in less than 3 weeks now. Plus today, a tropical storm is effecting us here in NY. Moreover this is especially true when you have little ones to take care. While it’s important to keep young children calm, you’ll be dealing with a lot of other details as you care for your family, too.
Ideally, you can teach your children some coping strategies before emergencies ever arise. That way, they’ll be a little more prepared if you and your family ever do face a stressful situation.
What kind of emergencies should you prepared for? Well that depends on where you live, as well as what your lifestyle is like. These are a few scenarios to consider:
- Natural disasters like flooding, wildfire, or major storms.
- Economic collapse.
- Home invasion.
It’s not fun to think about how your family would fare in any of these above scenarios. But doing so can help you be more prepared.
Here are 5 strategies helping to prepare your family for emergency situations:
1. Practice expectations.
In emergencies, the last thing you are going to want to deal with is a small child that doesn’t obey you. Your children should be expected to obey your instructions immediately. When you hold this expectation in your regular day-to-day routine, you’ll have less to worry about when disaster strikes. Because the habit will already be ingrained.
2. Focus on self-soothing.
Habits such as focused breathing and visualization are powerful physiological techniques. The sooner kids learn them, the more prepared they will be throughout life to cope with stress.
3. Memorize personal information.
In the event that you get separated, it’s helpful if your child knows some basic personal information. Your phone number, full names of family members, and your home address are all pieces of information that they could give to an adult that would help you be reunited. On that note, discuss with your children how to discern whether an adult is trustworthy or not. There’s a lot to be said for trusting gut instincts. Also, police officers and parents with kids are more likely to be able to help.
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4. Practice emergency drills as a family.
Follow through the motions of what exactly your family would do during a fire, evacuation, major storm, or other scenario. By repeating these drills every few months, children will have a better idea of what to do. Plus, they will be able to know what to expect if ever faced with the real deal.
5. Set a good example.
As with any other area of life, children will follow your example. See this includes whether it’s good or bad. Do your best to set the tone for your family during emergencies by remaining calm, alert, and proactive.
If you family faces a disaster or emergency situation, you’re all going to be dealing with some stress. However, using these strategies can better prepare your young children to remain calm until life returns to normalcy.
Make emergency preparation part of your family culture and you’ll enjoy a greater sense of security and peace of mind!
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