Now that Harvey has left our city, we are faced with recovery. We, as a community have lost so much. Houses, schools, businesses, friends, pets…
We have seen how strong we are as a community and quickly we move to take care of eachother. This is important, especially for our children.
When I walked in to see that my Studio had flooded, I was overcome with sadness and started to cry. During the storm I was able to stay calm and connected with my children, now, in this moment of grief, I balled and was unable to stop the tears.
My children instantly became so worried about me. They knew I was overwhelmed and they too started to feel out of control. They look to me for strength and guidance and now I was the one unable to be strong. I need to cry. How do we attend to our children when we are feeling so full of sadness and grief?
We want our children to have a natural connection with these feelings so we do not want to hide it, on the other hand, we do not want to be so consumed by our own feelings that we can’t help them deal with their own. Here are some thoughts that may help you.
Breathe. Show your children that you have your own ability to calm yourself when you are overwhelmed with emotion
Be honest. Name your emotion. Say, “I am sad that our furniture was damaged in the flood. I just need a little time to be sad and then I will be ok.”
Let your children comfort you. Children are very compassionate and want to help. Let them hold you and pat your head if they are naturally inclined to do so. They want to return the love and care you have given when they have been sad.
Take time for yourself. The community has done a wonderful job of putting together some free activities and care for children around town to help families. Here are some resources:
Use these moments away from your child to grieve so you will be ready to be present when they return to you.