Tornados, fires, shootings, bombings—such tragedies seem to be happening everywhere these days, but preschool teachers and day care providers can provide the normalcy young children crave during such events, writes Paul Myers, Save the Children’s lead for the domestic emergencies unit in California in an online article for the Washington-based National Association for the Education of Young Children .
Little ones—even those not directly affected—might still feel scared, insecure, guilty, sad, or angry, he states. They might be clingy when separating from their families.
Grown-ups can help children by taking the following distinct steps: They must continue to establish safety and control in the school setting; maintain routines; accept all reactions; help little ones move toward positive reactions; and aid in understanding and learning from disasters and encouraging creativity such as painting or drawing, which may allow pupils to demonstrate their emotions with little language.
Children who exhibit extreme reactions—outbursts or bedwetting, for example—could need further consultation, Myers writes.
Finally, educators and day care providers must take note to help themselves through a disaster in order to be available to little learners.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.