June 2012: Waldo Canyon Fire
The Waldo Canyon Fire has impacted our entire community. At Fostering Hope we are very grateful to our volunteers who have helped their families cope during this stressful time. Our prayers are with you all. Here are some important tips for parents to deal with the ongoing wildfire disaster response:
- It is a good idea to monitor and limit your child's exposure to media during this time. Watching the fire over and over will increase trauma and stress in children and adolescents. Research has proven this in lessons learned from 9/11.
- Monitor and limit the amount of time your children and adolescents spend on Facebook, tweeting and other social media sites. They have graphic pictures as well as information that may be nonfactual which will cause again undue anxiety, trauma, and stress.
- Making contact with others can help reduce feelings of distress. It benefits all of us to get involved with activities where we can contribute and help like collecting food for evacuees as well as activities that are just fun like movies, bowling, playing games, etc.
- Children and adolescents can benefit from spending some time with friends during this time. Social supports are huge during a crisis, especially for adolescents!
- Keep structure and routine in the day is comforting, such as snack time, bedtime rituals, etc.
- Allow children to discuss their feelings and concerns, and address any questions they may have regarding the event. Listen and empathize: being an empathetic listener is very important. Let them know that their reactions are normal and expected.
Because this is such an emotionally trying time for you and your families, here are some resources that you may find useful: