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					              Application Week 1


              Kristie Davenport


Child, Family and Community Relationships


              Walden University


              April 24, 2011/ Week 1


              Professor Ferrari
                                              Application 1


       This assignment has brought to light not only the natural disasters that have befallen us

here in the United States, but I found myself thinking of the families in Japan and all of the

horrific things those children have seen and experienced. The ways that we as early childhood

professionals can help children and families of natural disasters is universal and with the

exception of language these same issues apply.


      It is important to know the extent that the hurricane touched the child’s nuclear family

       and issues such as if the family was displaced.

      What necessities is the child may be lacking such as food or clothing

      How much of the storm is being replayed over again in the child’s life via media

      How well the parents or primary caregivers handling the disaster and what are does the

       child need as far as emotional support.

      Most importantly one needs to when to refer the family to a professional agency when

       the issues are more that you have training for.


   Some of the useful information from experts includes:


      Encourage children to talk about feelings and fears. Talking helps heal and the more

       you talk about things of this magnitude the better you understand them.

      Amongst all of the changes in the child’s life provide a stable and secure constant within

       your environment, somewhere where the child knows what to expect.

      Give children back some control whether it be an activity to help others or making a

       special picture for a parent that the child may be concerned about.
   Teachers should model a calm and reassuring demeanor. Reminding the children that

    everything will someday return back to normal. Encourage children to look at how

    brave they are and how proud you are of them.

   Advise parents to limit media exposure to the disaster as it tends to lead the child to

    relive the drama and violence. Play children’s videos or send the children out to play, or

    maybe try a board game.

    Among many of the problems that arise in the wake of such a disaster as Katrina one

    that is of the upmost importance is the feelings of safety and security that are

    jeopardized. As an early childhood professional I would strive to maintain a stable and

    consistent environment where the children would know where everything was and

    where the routine was predictable. Knowing what comes next is important to children

    even when they are not faced with the turmoil of a hurricane. As an early childhood

    professional I would hope to have resources to offer families in need of clothing or other

    important things that may have been taken away in the storm. Being able to give

    families the names of agencies and organizations that are there to help in such

    situations is an important contribution.

    This assignment has shown me the many ways that the lives of children are impacted by

    disasters that are unforeseen and totally out of their control. In the case of Katrina

    thousands of families’ lives were totally destroyed and the feelings of safety and

    security were also severely damaged. In the early childhood field we have the

    opportunity and responsibility to be a positive influence in these lives in good and bad

    times. Understanding family dynamics and child development put us in a position to be
a very driving force in the healing and rebuilding process for families after whatever

type of disaster may befall them.

				
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posted:7/15/2011
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Description: evaluating play grouonds for safety reasons