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Parents: read this!

Two young schoolboys chatting at a table.
Children have great powers of recovery when understood and supported.

We've launched a new booklet for parents whose kids are affected by disasters or emergencies. It's called Helping children and young people cope with crisis: information for parents and caregivers.

From past emergencies, we know that most people recover from overwhelming experiences but many children will need extra support. We also know that parents' recovery has a big influence on how young people recover. Good, clear information is the key to supporting our loved ones. Help for young people is most effective when delivered early and from people close to them, like family and friends.

Parents know their kids best. This booklet encourages mums and dads to understand how their children might react to a traumatic or challenging experience. Red Cross spoke to psychology and disaster experts as well as parents affected by emergencies to develop the easy-to-read booklet which includes:

  • information about how kids of all ages (0-25 years) might react to trauma
  • advice on how to look after oneself
  • tips on how to avoid too much media
  • Tips on how to get good sleep
  • suggested activities and games to use with kids affected by stress or trauma
  • information on where and when to get help.

The booklet also includes quotes from parents who've been through their own recovery journey from floods, fires and accidents that have changed or disrupted their lives. One parent says "Everyone reacts differently and recovers in their own time. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just remember a little early help can save a lot of heartache." 

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