Children coping with disaster and helping them heal

by Samantha on March 3, 2020

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Our children come to us for insight and understanding about the world, but as their parents, even we struggle to make sense of the devastation of natural disasters and the overwhelming heartbreak they cause. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes and more test our ability to comprehend, much less communicate comfort and safety to hurt and affected children, or even to those wondering little minds not personally affected.

Attachment Parenting International was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, and is home to board members, council members, and group leaders. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the tornado and in gratitude for the amazing efforts of community to come together and serve each other. The tornado shock and devastation from last night is challenging to process, especially for children.

We grieve for the lives, homes, and livelihoods lost and families broken apart or hurt in each one of these inexplicable tragedies. We share in offering our deepest sympathies. We see firsthand that families are already greatly challenged by the daily responsibilities of life, so we know this extra pain may feel like too much to bear. We also celebrate the selfless giving and countless efforts to provide assistance and comfort to the victims of these disasters.

As an education and support organization, API joins with other organizations in reaching out to support our hurting communities. API is focused on informing and supporting parents and professionals regarding secure attachment in our children. We know that for our children to grow healthy and strong emotionally, they need to feel security in their relationships in peaceful times as well as in disasters. As parents, it is our role to provide that sense of security through our presence and responsiveness to them and their needs. Parents and professionals who have traveled this road of trauma from disaster have invaluable experience to offer that will help us be sensitively responsive even in the most difficult of times, ensuring that we do not need to endure them alone.

API shares with parents and professionals two excellent, informative resources it has identified by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Early Trauma Treatment Network, Child Trauma Research Project of the University of California-San Francisco, and the Infant Mental Health Association of Aotearoa, New Zealand (IMHAANZ), created in response to the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand:

After a Disaster: Helping Young Children Heal

Young Children, Trauma and Sleep

The Association of Infant Mental Health in Tennessee shares these resources to help the children in your life suffering from trauma of tornadoes and other kinds of trauma.

Free book resource for small children

https://www.nctsn.org/resources

How to help Nashville

 API encourages parents to seek the support of a local AP parenting group and find valuable support, information, and resources for the parenting journey. AP leaders volunteer their time to ensure parents have much-needed support and encouragement, in the rewarding and delightful times of parenting, as well as the most difficult ones.

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