How to support children through a bushfire crisis
Whether you’re directly impacted by Australia’s current bushfire crisis or concerned by the media coverage, we understand bushfires can be a scary and traumatic experience for children.
Children will react differently to a natural disaster depending on their age. Some will experience nightmares, withdrawal, loss or increase in appetite and even aggressive behaviour.
You can play a vital role in helping your children experience healing from trauma and moving forward with their lives.
What can I do to help?
- Let your children know your own feelings and reassure them it’s normal to feel upset.
- Encourage children to express their feelings, listen and don’t pass judgement.
- Be patient. Reassure your child they are not responsible for what has happened.
- Don’t criticise your child if showing regressive behaviour.
- Include your child in making plans for the future.
- Keep your regular routines where possible.
Where should I go for help?
- contact your GP
- speak to a professional counsellor or psychologist
- call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
- in an emergency, call 000.
Need further support?
The following resources are educative tools you can use to support your child through a crisis:
This article is based off information developed by Lifeline.