Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that the daily structures of their lives will not change. Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions but will also need reassurance and structure. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions while at the same time looking to their parents for counseling and reassurance. For all children, encourage them to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Be a good listener.
Depending on their age, children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can also indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. Children will express their emotions differently.
Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective. Be honest with them when they ask questions while not giving young children more information than necessary.
Make sure that they are aware of other important adults in their life are safe.
Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.