- At Home
School has been canceled for more than two million children as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the east coast. The massive storm has closed down schools, businesses and even public transportation.
Parents are hitting the supermarket for bottled water, flashlight batteries and granola bars - but in the rush to stockpile emergency supplies, have you taken the time to talk to your kids about the news?
Make sure your little ones are able to process all the frightening information with these four tips that psychologist Janet Taylor shared with Good Morning America:
1. Focus on the Facts
“Our kids are hearing words like ‘monster storm’ [and] ‘superstorm.’ Explain to them what a storm surge is,” said Taylor. “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know.’ Look up how hurricanes develop, so that they’re informed and not just afraid.”
2. Monitor Screen Time
“Remember, screen time is not just television. It’s social media, so be aware that your kids are reading Facebook, looking at Twitter and a lot of things that are there may not be accurate and are scaring them.”
3. Empower Your Children Through Preparedness
“Have a preparedness plan and incorporate them into that,” said Taylor. ”Give them some what-ifs because, understand, kids are focused on the big world, but more importantly on what’s happening in their world, and if we can help them establish control by having a safety kit, a preparedness plan, then we can take away some of their anxiety.”
4. Create an Unconventional Halloween
“Have them put their costumes on that day. Hide candy in the house. Invite friends over if you can do that,” said Taylor. “Or, if you have to go to a shelter, say, ‘Listen, we can make our own un-Halloween day, and we can decide.’”
Have you talked to your kids about Hurricane Sandy?