Hurricane Ian left many children in Southwest Florida asking big questions. As a parent, it can be difficult to navigate having those conversations. It is especially tough when your children are preschool-aged. At Connection Point Early Learning Center, it is always our hope to be able to partner with parents and families during times like these. We’ve come up with a few ideas for navigating post-hurricane conversations with your little ones. Here are some ways to talk to your preschooler after a major hurricane:
One thing you can do for your preschooler after a hurricane is find space to slow down with them. Many parents find themselves in preparation mode as well as post-clean-up mode when a hurricane hits. It’s easy to forget that your child is watching as you hurriedly do what you need to do before and after a hurricane hits. Although it can be difficult, be sure to create a moment where you are slowing down with your children to have a conversation. Even if it’s a simple 10 minutes to slow down and give them a hug that tells them they are safe and loved. That can speak volumes to your child in the midst of what feels like chaos.
Children, especially preschoolers, long to be reassured that everything will be okay. If your family has been affected by a major hurricane, your child can feel the same stress that you are. While you don’t need to have all the answers, it is important to offer reassurance to your little one. Even if it’s just letting them know you are there for them, it can go a long way to provide some comfort as they process their feelings.
A hurricane like the one we most recently experienced here in Southwest Florida can leave children asking big questions. As a parent, creating space for your child to ask those questions is very important. It is equally important to answer their question. Even if your response isn’t perfect or if you don’t have all the answers, that’s okay! If the only response you have is “I don’t know” or “let me see if I can find that out”, that will go a long way with a preschooler. They could ask something along the lines of “where do hurricanes come from” which could be a great opportunity for you to research with them and find out together.
The thing that will be most helpful to your preschooler after a hurricane is resuming normalcy as much as possible. While we know that it may not be fully achievable because of circumstances, even the smallest bit of normalcy can make a huge impact on your child. It could be as simple as slowing down to play a game or read a book they enjoy. It could also look like getting back into the groove of their normal bedtime routine. Any small thing like this can make a huge difference for them!
While we know these tips are not a quick fix for the tremendous loss that many people in our community have experienced, we do hope that they help some parents navigate having post-hurricane conversations with their preschoolers and other children. Our hearts are hurting for our city and, we are praying for each and every person that has been deeply affected by Hurricane Ian. To learn more about Connection Point please visit our website.