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National present situation routine

Tips for parents on how to handle with children during an alarm:

The recent events could cause complicated and uneasy sensations towards the parents and the children.
In order to help you dealing with the current situation- we asked from Mickey Doron, a psychological clinic senior, to consolidate a number of advices for parents, the following advices:

Create a sense of control
Parents have the overbearing weight to help children during a stressful and dreadful situation.
The first rule is if we take care of our own anxiety, it will be a lot easier to handle our children. The child learns from the parent on how to handle stress and fearful situations, and when we're calm we give our children a sense of calmness and safety.
Even if we're people with anxiety, that doesn’t mean it's a flaw in our parenting skill. If one of us finds himself reacts with no silence, trembling or crying, it's better to deal with it naturally and even remind ourselves and others that these are natural causes of stress against extreme and strange situations.

Food, drink, sleep, family:
In order to deal with tension and anxiety situations, it's essential to provide the physical needs of the children and the parents such as a drinking, eating and a satisfying sleep. In addition it's important to give a sense of love, affection, stability and safety: hug you children, have a conversation with them about the situation, play with them etc.
Remember that staying half the time with the parents and the family members helps children very much in dealing with fears and anxiety.

Limit the communication consumption:
You should limit l the watching of live television broadcast. Pay attention to your reactions in front of the reports and remember that these affect on your children's reaction.
Comforting and encouraging explanation can prevent a phenomenon of fear and it's advisable to remind the children that they have parents, teachers, instructors and even a military whose job is to keep them safe.

Conversations:
When you're having a conversation with children about the situation, it's important to talk to them sensitively to their level of understanding, age and character, and according to the language of the conversation as well. Children get shy due to their fears and difficulty of handling stressful situations. It's very important to allow them to express their negative emotions and clarify that different kids react to stressful situations in different ways. You need to explain to the child that a positive attention that he's getting from he's parents and the adults that is important to him and guaranteed and has nothing to do of his ability to overcome his fears.

Physical activity and action
It's recommended to unload stress by means of exercise activity at home or outside, such as running, dancing, riding on a bicycle, jumping or any other activity that entertains, releases energy and a load off.
In addition, activities such as drawing, soap bubbles, praying, imaginary games, or any other way of distracting, helps concentrating on a routine in places that causes anxiety and stress. These activities can be a good opportunity strengthening the bond of your children. Often the children could express on these games about contents of fear- remember that this is a natural effect that helps them to deal with the situation.
Additionally, participating in a social activity is a form of a donation to the community and volunteering, helps increase a sense of confidence and an increase of personal satisfaction.
It's important to give for each family member a role and responsibility, this way it sends a message of making and capability even in times of tension and anxiety.  For example, guarantee brining a pet animal or a specific doll to the mamad (residential secure space).

 

Humor:
Humor is the effective and best way of easing down stress and dealing with situations of anxiety. Even so, it's important you use humor at the right amount and not in a way the breaks the children's sensation.
Routine is good
Try to keep as much as you can on your regular daily routine with your families and the daily routine that the child is used to, such as continuing studying in camps, group activity, shared dinners, shower times, bed times etc, as long as they follow the instructions of pikud ha Oref.


Professional help:
If you have any questions or other concerns- or if you feel that the child's comments are unusual and drags on for a period of time- it's recommended to turn to the telephone service center aid of ARAN "mental health crises", NATAL "post traumatic stress disorder", urban hotlines or health maintenance organizations. Also, you can turn to the pikud ha Oref any question related emergency, from the information hotline 104, internet site or facebook page.

The writer is a specialist in handling situations of anxiety and trauma situations, executive program for psychotherapy in the University of bar-Ilan and a member of the coalition Israelite for trauma.