Rebuilding Ojai Like a Phoenix Rising

Helping Children Cope After Fire


Below are two great resources for helping children through this natural disaster.

Helping Children Cope after a Natural Disaster

Helping children overcome emotional problems in the wake of a disaster is a considerable task for parents, teachers, and mental health professionals. Most children have similar fears after a tragic occurrence: that the event will happen again, that someone they love will be hurt or die, and that they may be left alone. First and foremost, all children must have their basic needs met. They need food, clothing, shelter, and to feel safe with someone who cares about them. Assuming that these needs have been met, as well as any health issues addressed, there are actions adults can take to alleviate children’s anxiety.  Read rest of article by clicking here.

What Happened to My World?

A FREE ONLINE BOOK for helping children cope with natural disasters. Gives guidelines from under 3 up through the teenage years. Quite extensive. Read the book online by clicking here.


Children Cope Book

Additional Resources For Dealing Trauma and Grief at Home and in the Classroom

Tips for Talking to Kids About Trauma: The Greater Good Science Center produced this resource following the Paris attacks; it includes helpful information for starting a dialogue with children following traumatic events. You’ll find tips for helping students express themselves as well as a list of outside resources for helping children respond to grief and trauma.

Resources for Responding to Trauma and Tragedy: This collection from Edutopia features resources in a variety of areas, including trauma’s effect on learning, supporting students who have experienced trauma, and more. There are links to Edutopia content and also articles and guides from around the web.

A Teachers’ Guide for Managing Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events: The National Association of School Psychologists produced this guide for responding to traumatic events in the classroom. You’ll find strategies and tips for talking with students of all ages, with different guides for various age groups. Teachers will learn how to model coping strategies for students, and there’s a wealth of useful information about monitoring students’ emotions.

Helping Young Children Cope With Trauma: This downloadable PDF from the American Red Cross features a brief overview of how children of different age levels react to tragic events. A tips list details how families can respond and includes advice for when to seek professional help.

A Comprehensive Guide for Talking With Kids About the News From PBS Parents: There are many useful strategies for discussing tragedy with children in this guide. Parents will find a list of strategies for listening and talking to help young people communicate their feelings and strategies to help soothe and reassure children. There are age-specific strategies and discussion starters.

Resources for Managing Child Traumatic Stress: This is an exhaustive collection of information for helping children through a variety of stressful and traumatic situations. Produced by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, these resources are arranged by topic with guides, explanations, tips, and advice in each section. Additionally, NCTSN’s Parenting in a Challenging World collection features tips relevant to parents.

Resources for Grieving Children and Families: From the New York Life Foundation and various partners, this site has a variety of resources for children, teens, and families responding to tragedy. Included are links to resources from the foundation’s partners, including Sesame Street Workshop, Scholastic, and Camp Erin, as well as outside links to useful resources.

Responding to Natural Disaster

Helping Children Cope With Natural Disaster and Catastrophe: Bright Horizons produced this helpful guide, “What Happened to My World,” which offers assistance to parents and adults who want to talk to young people about natural disasters and the effects on communities. Bright Horizon’s guide provides powerful tips for working with children of any age and strategies for offering honest, reassuring answers to their questions.

Helping Children After a Natural Disaster — Information for Parents and Teachers: This is a comprehensive resource from the National Association of School Psychologists. It’s part preparation guide, part crisis-response resource. This guides features strategies for responding to a variety of disasters and for helping children cope. (Note: This is just one resource from the NASP; the organization hosts a wealth of resources online for many different situations.)

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