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'Follow your kid's lead': Behaviors to look out for following Friday's storm

Posted at 10:47 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 23:47:58-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Friday's storm destroyed the homes of hundreds of families but took a sense of security from even more.

Students sheltered inside basements and schools as sirens blared.

And now as adults are dealing with the stresses to follow, Boys Town Behavioral Health says kids may have some tough feelings to work through.

"Follow your kid's lead, right so if they are coming to you with questions, you kind of go with that," said Christa Newman, a postdoctoral clinical psychology fellow at Boys Town.

Kara Brown and Christa Newman are postdoctoral clinical psychology fellows at Boys Town and say each kid's reaction to traumatic events like this will be different.

"We really want to kind of just notice what is going on, answer questions that come up in a developmentally appropriate manner, but also just kind of like notice what's going on for the kids," Brown said.

There are a few behaviors they say to watch for:

  • Overly anxious talk about storms or worries for family safety.
  • Kids might have sleep disturbances or nightmares.
  • They could be clingy to you or want to avoid some daily activities, like going to school.
  • And even physical persistent complaints like an upset stomach or fatigue.

"I think like any reactions that people are having are probably normal given that this was a really abnormal scary event that happened,” Brown said.
There is a chance for second-hand anxiety too for kids who may not have been directly impacted but might know someone who was. To that Newman recommends, “creating space for that feeling, validating it, saying like it makes sense that you are scared, this was a really scary thing, it didn't happen to us, right, but we can't promise that it won't ever happen," Newman said.

And grown-ups, don't forget your feelings. Talk to someone you trust if you're feeling stressed.

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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