Negative News: How Parents Can Manage Kids' Emotional Disasters Around Natural Disasters by Roma Khetarpal
While we are eager to keep up to date on current events, let’s be truthful here: we are slightly addicted to bad news. That’s no fault of our own; it’s part of human nature. Research has shown that humans seek out news of dramatic, negative events in part because our brains evolved in a hunter-gatherer environment where anything novel had to be attended to immediately for survival. Other studies have shown that our negative brain tripwires are far more sensitive than our positive triggers. We tend to get more fearful than happy. And each time we experience fear we turn on our stress hormones.
What about our children? Are their stress hormones being turned on as well? Of course, they are! So how can parents help them avoid emotional disasters during natural disasters?
Begin by managing your own stress. Having concern and compassion during a natural disaster is one thing, but expressing those feelings repeatedly simply increases your stress and that of your family. As parents, it is our job to be responsive and not reactive. Recognize there are things we have control over and things we do not. Be compassionate, kind and offer help, but stop hitting replay.
Read more about how to protect our kids' mental health during natural disasters via HuffPost.