1. Model trust in God. When our children see that we are not afraid because we believe with all our hearts that God is in control, they will be more at peace. It will help their faith grow.
2. Give them spiritual encouragement. Read and memorize scripture together. Psalm 23 and Psalm 91 are great places to start. Pray for and with them.
3. Keep a peaceful atmosphere. Play calming music and minimize chaos and excessive noise.
4. Don’t take your stress out on them. It’s easy to become testy or withdrawn when we feel tense or concerned. Our kids need us to be even-tempered and approachable during times of stress more than ever.
5. Spend time together. Talk, read aloud, play games, go for a walk. This helps our kids feel secure.
6. Reassure. Encourage your children with your words, but also give lots and lots of hugs.
7. Establish some sort of routine. As a crisis drags out, it’s comforting to have a routine and a general plan for each day, as much as possible.
8. Feed them healthfully. Make sure they get a balanced diet, not too many weird or new foods, and not too much sugar. Keep them hydrated with plenty of water.
9. Make sure they get adequate rest. Not only do they need a usual amount of sleep, they may need an extra nap or early bedtime. Stress is exhausting.
10. Turn off the TV! In times of natural disaster, viewing destruction will only make your children feel powerless and afraid, especially if they know it’s where their homes, friends and family are. They don’t have the emotional filters we adults have, and it’s detrimental to allow devastating images to play in front of them over and over.