Blue Suit Mom

7 Ways to Help Your Children Cope With a Burglary

shutterstock_85214245After your home is burglarized, it’s only natural to feel violated, angry or even fearful that the perpetrator may return. But you’re not the only one who may be impacted by this traumatic experience. Children who are old enough to understand what transpired may also have a difficult time recovering.

Here are some useful tips to help ease their mind:

1. Install a Security System

If you don’t already have one installed, strongly consider an alarm system that includes portable wireless cameras, such as those offered by Lorex. Not only will your children feel safe knowing additional measures have been taken to make the home more secure, but you’ll also drastically reduce your chances of being burglarized (by 300 percent, notes Alarm.com). In many instances, burglars have a change of heart upon spotting the cameras since their actions are being recorded in real-time and the likelihood of getting caught is much higher.

2. Lend a Listening Ear

In an effort to quickly pick up the pieces and move on with your life, you may be tempted to minimize discussions regarding the burglary. But just like a burglary leaves you unsettled, children also suffer both physically and emotionally. To help ease their anxieties, lend a listening ear. Also, be on the lookout for behaviors that exhibit poor coping as they can have serious long-term implications for your child. Tell-tale signs for younger children include bedwetting, nightmares and crying fits, but older children may be become withdrawn, restless and sluggish, which contributes to the onset of anxiety, notes Red Wi

ne and Apple Sauce.

3. Devise an Emergency Plan

Whether your children were home or away during the burglary, the fear of another incident occurring still lingers. You can help put their minds at ease by devising a detailed exit strategy should history repeat itself. The plan could include potential routes to take, which doors to exit and where to take shelter (i.e. neighbor’s house) until law enforcement arrives. Alarm Wizard provides a good checklist to start planning.

4. Give Them Time

Children tend to be resilient, but don’t expect them to quickly bounce back from a burglary. As time progresses and reality begins to set in, emotional wounds will manifest. Only time and emotional support can heal.

5. Provide a Support System

Along with granting your children the opportunity to express themselves and deal with the emotional roller coaster, it helps to bring their closest friends and relatives into the equation to provide support. A fun-filled day out shortly following the incident can work wonders.

6. Seek Professional Help

If your child begins to exhibit signs of anxiety or things seem to be getting worse, it’s best to seek the assistance of a therapist to expedite the healing process. Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean your child is mentally unstable; some children simply have a tougher time overcoming fear than others.

7. Take Care of Yourself

As a parent, you want to do all you can to care for your fear-stricken children, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your personal well-being. Children feed off of their parents’ reactions, so self-neglect is highly discouraged. In the event that you’re unable to deal with the aftermath of the burglary without falling into a deep depression or resorting to comforting mechanisms that may not be in your best interest, you should also talk to a professional.

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