Some children are natural worriers the same way that other children are naturally quiet or naturally athletic. When you are raising a child who tends to worry about bad situations, it can be tough to know how to talk about disasters and emergency preparedness. Still, it is important to have discussions and find ways to calm fears through information.
Have a Plan
You may worry about upsetting a worried child with details about an emergency plan, but many worriers feel better when they know that the adults in their life have thought things through and know how to take care of them in an emergency. Go over the details of your plan and what you would do in each situation. Go over the roles of each family member and what things the child is responsible for during an emergency (eg: getting to safety, finding a parent or trusted adult).
Encourage your child to ask questions about different types of emergencies or what would happen in a situation. If you don’t know the answer, you can look for it together and learn more about what you would do. It is important for you both to answer questions and know how to act in a disaster. When a child has their questions answered, they often begin to relax and feel ready for any situation they may face in the future.
Discuss the Odds
It is important to remind all children, especially worried children, that we make emergency plans and hope that we never have to use them. In fact, most people who make plans will never find themselves in a situation where they need to use it. Plans are made to keep us safe just in case. You can use funny examples to stress the odds of things happening and help your child to feel better about the idea of the plan.