Supporting Through the Storm

  • Common Reactions of Children After a Storm

    Birth to 6 years:Supporting the Whole Child Through the Storm

    • May not have words to express their emotional distress
    • Irritable, crying more than usual
    • Return to bed wetting (if potty trained)
    • Want to be held and cuddled more than usual
    • Can feel helpless, powerless and frightened
    • Doesn’t want to be separated or leave care givers
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Angers easily

    7-10 years:

    • Understand the permanence of loss
    • Preoccupied with details of event & want to talk about it continually
    • Difficulty concentrating and focusing on task
    • May hear and react to inaccurate information from peers (which adults can clarify)
    • Difficulty sleeping and may return to bed wetting
    • Fear disaster will happen again
    • Irritable and angers easily
    • May be sad and not understand why

    11-18 years:

    • Similar responses to adults
    • World seems unsafe
    • May become involved in dangerous and risk-taking behaviors
    • Fear leaving home and avoid social activity
    • Feel overwhelmed by intense emotion but unable to talk about them
    • Trouble concentrating and focusing on tasks
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Preoccupied with disaster
    • Irritable and angers easily