An emergency is a scary situation for anyone, even if you’re someone who can react practically and stay rational. This is why it’s so important to teach your kids how to respond in a similar manner; you don’t want them to be overwhelmed by their fear when something goes wrong!
However, passing down a skill like this is difficult, thanks to just how different parents and their children can be. We all have our own innate reactions, and sometimes these take over when we’re worried. But if you sit your kids down and walk this through with them, they’re much more likely to think clearly in case of an emergency. Here’s some advice on what to do and say.
Talk About Your Home Emergency Plans
When kids know what’s going on, they’re much more likely to follow the plan and do exactly what you tell them to. So go through the steps of things like fire prevention or flood damage; these are the two most common disasters that can affect homes. You should also talk about what you plan to do if an emergency plan goes wrong.
Say you need to go into hospital after an injury – you could bring up your plan to use a Medical Malpractice Lawyer if something goes wrong while you’re in that care. Knowing this can help your kids feel even more soothed about how to handle whatever life throws at them.
Remind Them How Important Calmness Can Be
Staying calm during an emergency is hard without practice. But as their parent, this is something you can demonstrate for them. Sure, you may feel anxiety and fear or anger boiling up inside you, but letting that out right now would be even more destructive.
Sit down with them and practice breathing exercises, or go through word affirmations that help you to feel better. If the kids know how to practice these techniques now, they’ll be able to use them even if you’re not around. It’s another way to show them what to expect, which is great for beating that fear response.
Encourage Them to Talk to a Trusted Adult
The emergency aftermath is the most important thing to teach a child. No matter their age, dealing with the emotions an emergency can cause is difficult. Kids of all ages may start refusing to follow the rules, start being willfully disruptive, and may even refuse to go to school. This is where talking comes in.
Let your kids know that they don’t have to bottle things up, and it’s OK to feel scared and want to cry. After all, the more you let it out, the better you’ll be! Talk about these emotions and how to respond to them without shutting down. If the kids know you’re on their side, they’re much more likely to cut the experience down into manageable pieces.
Talking to kids about emergencies isn’t fun. However, it’s very necessary. Start with the steps above and go from there.