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Stress Management | War and Terrorism | Parents and Families

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Contains 10 tips for resilience in a time of war.

Focuses on the anxieties and concerns of families, especially children, of deployed soldiers. We draw upon the expertise of leaders in military medicine and family trauma who define some of the critical phases and issues of family vulnerability during deployment.

In times of war, it is not unusual for people to have feelings of uncertainty... Resilience can be an important part of your emergency preparedness kit. It is a psychological tool that can help us deal with anxiety, fear, and distressful events in a time of war.

Terrorist attacks in our country and threats or realities of war are frightening experiences for all Americans. Children may be especially fearful that threatened or actual military action overseas will result in more personal loss and violence here at home. Because repeated scenes of destruction of lives and property are featured in the news media, they understand that “enemies of the United States” can cause harm in this country.

When a crisis event occurs—in school, in the community or at the national level—it can cause strong and deeply felt reactions in adults and children, especially those children with special needs. Many of the available crisis response resources are appropriate for use with students with disabilities, provided that individual consideration is given to the child’s developmental and emotional maturity. Acts of healing such as making drawings, writing letters, attending memorial ceremonies and sending money to relief charities are important for all children.

The terrorism coverage, like kids’ cartoons, has become addictive. Many hours of TV bring the horrors of terrorism into our home. Parents need to be concerned about the possible effect this non-stop coverage might have on children. Even more importantly, what can parents do to ease a child’s fear?

Facing Fear was developed to address a demand by educators and caregivers of children for materials to help children cope in uncertain times. The curriculum is a supplement to Masters of Disaster, children's natural hazard safety curriculum. The format and components are similar, including ready-to-go lesson plans, activities and demonstrations that can be incorporated within core subject areas. Lessons are aligned with national health, social studies, and language arts standards.

During the parent’s deployment, family members may feel isolated, unsupported and anxious. They may also experience financial stress. Media coverage of events can also increase concern.

At Family Health Group, our patients and their medical needs are very important to us and we are committed to providing the quality care they deserve. Family Health Group is an affiliate of Maury Regional Hospital and St. Thomas Hospital, created in 1996 to increase access to primary care in southern Middle Tennessee. There are 11 practice sites located throughout Maury, Lawrence, Marshall and Wayne counties.

Focus of the series is on the common health problems about which people are likely to ask their family physicians

How to Plan For and Protect Your Family’s Health. The fact sheet provides information on three aspects of family preparedness planning for disasters. The first pertains to the special health needs of your family. The second involves specific tips around evacuation. The third provides steps for creating a family communication plan.

A catastrophe such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or violent acts is frightening to children and adults alike. It is important to explain the event in words the child can understand. Parents should also acknowledge the frightening parts of the disaster when talking with a child about it.

A catastrophe such as an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or violent acts is frightening to children and adults alike. It is important to explain the event in words the child can understand. Parents should also acknowledge the frightening parts of the disaster when talking with a child about it. Falsely minimizing the danger will not end a child's concerns. Several factors affect a child's response to a disaster.

Fact sheet contains useful information for you — parents and family caregivers — to help children cope during a parents’ deployment.

Events such as the Oklahoma City bombing, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC, and even natural disasters such as tornadoes and floods place everyone at risk for some degree of trauma reaction. It is normal and expected that most children will experience some symptoms of acute distress—shock, crying, anger, confusion, fear, sadness, grief and pessimism. Depending on circumstances, particularly the additional trauma of loss of family members, most children will experience a gradual lessening of these symptoms over the days and weeks following the event and will be able to resume normal routines and activities with little change in performance. However, a large-scale crisis event places a significant number of children are at risk for severe stress reactions.

Provides typical reactions; how one can help; what to say and not to say; when to refer to mental health services.

Informs parents that teenagers may want to discuss issues more than once or may have different sets of questions for them at different times. Be open, available and positive in order to create an environment that supports communication among all members of the family.

Urges parents to give children more attention and patience. Realize that changes in how they behave may be signs that young children are concerned and need extra time, conversation and love.

...No one knows how long a war will last or how it will affect our lives. We may feel uncertain about the future and anxious about events that are out of our control. You may react differently to a war today because of the impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Terrorism creates fear and uncertainty about the future. Because terrorist acts are random and unpredictable, war today poses a new kind of threat, one with which Americans have had little experience. You may feel more afraid, insecure, and vulnerable as a result of concerns that the United States could be attacked again.

Article to help parents talk to children about Terrorism and Armed Conflict. From Department of Family and Consumer Sciences North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service College of Agriculture and Life Sciences NC State University

In today's world, parents are faced with the challenge of explaining violence, terrorism and war to children. Although difficult, these conversations are extremely important. They give parents an opportunity to help their children feel more secure and understand the world in which they live.

The reports of attacks in Iraq and other places in the world may prompt questions among children about war and terrorism. Many questions parents have about terrorism, including how to explain terrorism to children, how much information to give, how to assess children's emotional reactions and how to provide comfort and a sense of safety are all discussed in a variety of articles contained in this website.

Suggests that before talking with children, parents take time to think about the issue themselves and consider what it means to their family.

Devastating acts, such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. They have raised uncertainty about what might happen next, increasing stress levels. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should another emergency arise. Taking preparatory action can reassure you and your children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events.

The terrorist attacks on America have triggered a national grief process. As the initial disbelief and shock wear off, an array of feelings present themselves---fear, outrage, confusion, weariness, sadness. Naturally, those who have been severely injured and those who have lost loved ones will experience the most intense and heart-wrenching grief.

Some of the behaviors that children model in part come from what they view on television. Unfortunately, children are exposed to nearly 26 violent acts per viewing hour. Violence or aggression is seen in commercials, sitcoms, and most children's programming including cartoons. But children aren't watching children's programming only. Prime-time television draws the largest number of viewers from every age group. Aggression is also the main theme of many videogames and popular toys.

 
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