While natural disasters such as earthquakes cause psychological problems in adults, they have more traumatic effects on children. What are the psychological effects of the earthquake on children? What are the ways to cope with the effects of the earthquake? Here are all the details…
While major disasters such as earthquakes, which may cause shocking, loss of life and property, may have great traumatic consequences for both adults and children, these effects may become permanent. Especially if children have no knowledge about such natural disasters, the problems that may be experienced after the event can either be in a certain way or subconsciously and cause great problems for later ages. For this reason, experts invited parents to undertake the task of informing their children about natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. On the other hand, experts gave information about the psychological effects of the earthquake on children and methods of coping with them. In this news, we have compiled the psychological effects of the earthquake on children and the ways to deal with them from experts.
THE SEVERITY OF AFTER EARTHQUAKE FEAR IN CHILDREN DETERMINES THE TYPE OF EXPERIENCE.
It is normal for children to be afraid during and after an earthquake. The severity of this fear is determined by the way of living of the event. Experts attribute clues to understanding how children feel when they’re in this situation, by controlling these reactions:
Where did he experience the earthquake, with whom? the intensity and duration of the earthquake, the child’s temperament and past traumatic experiences…
PRESCHOOL CHILDREN ARE MOST AFFECTED BY TRAUMA!
Young children who have not yet reached school age have difficulty in expressing the situation they are in and experiencing their emotions because they have difficulty in understanding the events. Unfortunately, it is the age group that is most affected by the events, as they cannot fully express how they feel. The common feature of preschool children is that they see themselves responsible for any negativity. “It happened because of me”, “It happened because I misbehaved or pissed off my mother” they become as egotistical. A school-age child, on the other hand, will better understand the possible consequences of natural disasters such as earthquakes if they are informed. However, in children of this age “What will happen to me and my family?”questions and concerns may arise.
In addition, fear of loss or some miscellaneous anxiety is expected and observed in children due to shocking and destructive natural disasters such as earthquakes. In this process, there are some things that parents should do in order for the child to feel safe.
Experts list the things that should be considered in order for children to feel safe again after the earthquake as follows:
- The parent’s way of coping with anxiety and the home environment are the most important representations in the child’s struggle with anxiety.
- Children should not be exposed to earthquake talk, news and images. Instead, an environment of trust should be created by giving the child clear and concise brief information.
- When creating an environment of trust, stroking the child’s back or hair, holding his hand, making eye contact are effective.
- If the child is reluctant to re-enter the house, try to get used to it gradually. The parent should not display an indifferent, condescending, harsh, ignoring attitude in the face of the child’s attitude.
- Consideration should be given to the child’s thoughts and feelings about the earthquake.
- The most common mistake parents make is thinking that their children feel the way they do, or expecting them to feel the way they do.
- Since the child’s trust area is shaken, it is possible for the child to show reactions from previous periods, which is called “regression”. Regression is the attitude of the child such as thumb sucking or nail biting, being constantly attached to parents, and not being alone. In such periods, sleep quality and hygiene may be impaired because the child has difficulty falling asleep or wakes up frequently at night even if he does. Parents need to act recognizing that this is an emotional need. In this case, what parents need to do is to act in a way that will neither keep themselves away from the child nor make the child adhere.