It was a week ago this morning where we felt the first earthquake. It came while we were at church chatting after Bible Study. There was another on Thursday and the big one on Friday. Since then we've been taking it day-by-day as normalcy is restored.
On TV there has been a lot of info about the problems, the suffering and a few happy stories of reunions and rescues. What I have not seen much of is advice in how to help your kids at a time like this. Here is what we're been doing:
- Talking. My son is 3 yrs old yet he can understand much of what is going on if I put it in his terms. He knows that the ground moved, houses fell and waves washed over towns. I think since we had just learned about arable which addresses building your house on the rock vs. sand the images on TV were easy for him to comprehend.
We've also talked about how some people don't have power, heat or water right now so it is our job to be good stewards of those things so that the extra can be shared with people who don't have any.
- Schedule. A s much as possible we are sticking to the normal schedule for the kids. Doing things just the way they've always been done helps keep the kids stress levels down. Nap time and bedtime especially should happen in the "normal" way as much as possible.
- Play together. Kids need to play every day even if they are to stay inside that day. The attention is also important. If the kids are getting clingy or acting out it could be a sign of having feelings that they don't know how to express. Sometimes those feelings get worked out while playing.
- Listen. It is amazing how much kids can tell you (or sign) if you give them the chance.
- Get out toys which haven't been played with in a while. Even baby toys can be interesting to a toddler.
- Change rooms every few hours. The change of place can feel refreshing.
So far this week we've gone camping in the living room, played restaurant, built a few different vehicles, played with trains, and read nearly every Berenstain Bears book that I have here. (Mom, time to send the rest if there are still some at your house...) We also had a couple of video chats with G'ma and G'pa.