How to Support Your Children In Times of Crisis


In times of crisis, it is crucial to understand how children may be affected by the events and how we, as adults, can support them effectively. Like adults, children can experience a range of emotional and behavioral responses in response to crisis. This blog post will explore these responses and discuss
strategies to help children during challenging times.

Understanding Children's Responses

Children may exhibit various emotional responses, including anxiety, fear, depression, or anger. They may also face difficulties in concentration, sleep disturbances, or even regression in behavior such as wanting to sleep in a parent’s bed. Some children may not display any emotional distress or may even act silly or “immature” in response to discussions about the crisis. Understanding that these responses are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances is essential. With time, these reactions are likely to diminish on their own.

Maintaining Structure and Routine

To help children navigate through challenging times, it is helpful to maintain structure and routine in their lives. It is important to ensure they continue with their regular activities, such as attending school, participating in extracurricular activities, or religious practices. These routines provide a sense of
stability and familiarity that can be comforting to children by giving them a sense of control and predictability when they may feel very unstable.

Maintaining Structure and Routine

One of the most impactful ways to support children during challenging times is by engaging in individual conversations with them. Each child will respond differently based on their age, emotional makeup, and understanding of the situation. Unfortunately, as much as we try to protect our children and limit what they hear and see, there is a good chance that their friends have heard disturbing information and are sharing it with your child. To have the conversation with your child, start by asking them what they have heard about the current circumstances and encourage them to express their thoughts and emotions. It is vital to validate their feelings and create a safe space for them to share their concerns. This can also be an opportunity to discuss coping strategies and explore different ways to manage stress and anxiety.

Exploring a Positive Perspective

While it may be challenging, exploring a positive perspective can help children find solace and a sense of control amidst challenging circumstances. Highlighting positive aspects, such as the unity and resilience of the community, can instill hope and optimism. Encourage your child to get involved in acts of kindness, such as sending care packages or writing letters to those affected. Empowering them to make a difference, even in small ways, can provide a sense of purpose and agency


Supporting children through challenging circumstances requires empathy, understanding, and proactive engagement. By maintaining structure and routine, having individual conversations, and exploring a positive perspective, we can help children navigate through these challenging times. Remember, their emotional responses are normal, and it is our role to validate their feelings and provide them with the tools to cope effectively. As a community, we can support our children and guide them towards resilience and hope.

Dr. Aryeh Berlin is a New Jersey licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Aspire Psychological Group. Dr. Berlin has vast clinical training experiences including a residential adolescent addiction treatment center in Israel, community mental health centers, and youth detention centers. Dr. Berlin has lectured on parenting children with emotional and behavioral difficulties, child development, helping children with school-related challenges and trauma. Audiences included attorneys, mental health professionals, parents, and educators.