Diane Currie -
May 18, 2006
Some of us are getting tired of hearing about that storm named Katrina, which touched all of our lives in some way. Many people can rally around and get through a crisis lasting a short while.
But what happens when the events drag on for months? What about years? It is at this time that many will have used up their resources. Finances may be dwindling or absent. Relatives are ready to have their houses back for their family alone. Emotionally, we are drained. We only have one nerve left and the youngest member of the household is standing on it.
Put the TV on or pick up a newspaper and all we see is the prediction of a very active hurricane season and levees that won't be fixed in time.
So how are the children doing? The anxiety and depression that you may be experiencing is usually picked up by your children.
Soon the children will be out of school and they will no longer be out of earshot of the serious discussions taking place. Whenever possible, the kids should be kept abreast of changes affecting the family, but only after the parents or caretakers have made a decision. Children who become anxious as a result of their family's anxiety may not know how to express their feelings, and they may act out both at school and at home. It is important to talk to them and reassure them that they are safe and will be taken care of.
With the end of the school year, many families that have children enrolled in new schools because the old school remained closed or there wasn't housing available, may be talking about a move.
There has been months to sort out what to do. Children do best when told ahead of time about the changes and how it will affect them. Visiting a new school ahead of time can put aside some worries of theirís. If children were displaced, they probably had to make new friends which could be lost if another move is anticipated.
Of course, if you feel that your life or that of your child is out of control, please do not hesitate to seek professional help. Counselors are capable of helping to relieve stress and help you get your life back on track.