Global terrorism. Random acts of violence close to home. Viruses that we never even heard of yesterday, yet today are global epidemics.
Today’s 24/7 access to coverage of horrifying events can make us feel powerless in the face of dangers beyond our control. But there are steps we can take to make ourselves and our children feel safe in an uncertain world.
- Identify what you are feeling. You may feel scared, angry, sad and defenseless. Understand that these feelings are normal in the face of the unknown.
- Maintain your usual routines. Adults and children alike do better with the security of knowing what to expect when. Remember that terrorists are striving for disruption – living your normal life is actually an act of defiance.
- Be positive with your kids. Reassure them that you are there to take care of them and that acts of terrorism are not the norm. Urge them to talk about their feelings and their fears. Remind them of times that they have stood up for themselves in scary situations. Limit their exposure to the media. Be a role model for your children by staying optimistic.
- Educate yourself about the ways our government and medical leaders are taking action to protect our citizens.
- Take reasonable precautions to protect yourself and your family:
- Wash your hands.
- “Safety in numbers.” Don’t go out alone at night or wander into unsafe areas.
- Make sure your kids know about stranger danger.
- Educate yourself before traveling to places you have never been before.
- Report suspicious behavior to authorities.
- Have a plan that includes how to communicate with each other and a “safe place.”
- Try to keep your fears in the proper perspective. Acts of terrorism are meant to cause mass terror and disruption. Statistically, the greatest threat to your safety is probably riding in a car.
- Remember that trying times often bring people together as we learn to help and respect each other.