April 27th left us facing countless challenges and endless questions.
Communities search for ways to move on, but when a whole state struggles with a question, how do you explain the answer to a child?
We took action to find out how to safely help your child through the one year anniversary, and now we’ve got results.
It starts with simply explaining to your child the likelihood of similar events recurring.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Roger Rinn says, “I think you tell the truth. Say it’s probably not going to happen, and if it does, we’ll be ready for it this time.”
Even though we all still have misgivings about that day, it’s important to convey confidence about the future.
Dr. Rinn adds, “If you have anxiety about it, it’s pretty easy to transfer that to children and give them anxiety with your anxiety.”
Part of building that confidence includes creating a plan for what to do in severe weather.
Dr. Rinn suggests, “You might want to rehearse it a couple times and be funny. Have fun with it. Don’t make it a serious traumatic event in itself.”
But then we’re left with the anniversary. How do you put a date like this in context without reliving every terrifying moment?
It starts with being thankful for the things we didn’t lose.
Dr. Rinn explains, “I think if you live your life in fear, you end up transferring that to your children. So you live your life in thanks, that you’re here, that your loved ones are ok. If someone died, you say a prayer for them. You do what is appropriate in your family tradition and move on. You don’t want to stay there too long.”
Because acknowledging the memory isn’t the same as reliving it.