How to help your kids handle anxiety from winter storm

Children suffered through the winter storm effects of no power and water and watched their parents struggle, too.

Video Transcript

- Parents, many of us went through a lot during that devastating winter storm. The house was freezing, no water, and for some, the aftermath of busted pipes is still causing major headaches. So how do we make sure that the stress and anxiety doesn't spill over to our kids? I talked to a life coach, and she gave some simple tips that you probably never thought about.

- We woke up to no lights. We woke up to the house being much colder than it was when we fell asleep. We woke up to no water.

- Mother of two [? Tamitras Lovett ?] was like hundreds of thousands of other Texas parents during that devastating winter storm. She was frustrated.

- It's frustrating as hell, to say the least.

- Her kids were cold, she had rushed her grandfather to the hospital during the height of the storm, and as a mom, she was trying to shield her young daughter and son from all of it.

- I'm sitting in the dark with two kids, and I don't have to leave. That'll push you, and it did, and I said a whole lot of things that I told him, don't go repeat.

- And let's be honest. Lovett wasn't alone. The stress and anxiety creeped into lots of homes. So how do you make sure all that worry and fear doesn't stay with your children? Certified life coach Arlene Schneider says first, gauge the alert level in your home.

ARLENE SCHNEIDER: If everybody is anxious and angry, the alert level is going to be back on red, and the kids won't be able to function. They're not going to be able to sleep. They're going to be anxious, they're not going to be able to focus on school.

- Next, don't minimize it, but do talk about it.

ARLENE SCHNEIDER: Acknowledge and validate their feelings. Absolutely, we're going through another crisis. But it's going to be OK.

- Lastly, Schneider says leave anger out of the conversations.

ARLENE SCHNEIDER: To stay away as much as possible, I know this is difficult, from blame and anger, because the children feed into that, and they get angry, and they want to blame somebody, and then everybody's out of control.

- Lovett says for her kids--

- We lit candles, we played board games.

- She started focusing on the positive, and she's doing that going forward.

- [? Tamitras ?] Lovett, by the way, is a teacher who also happens to be a nurse. And she's taking things day by day. And speaking of teachers, the life coach says, as students head back to in person today, some kids will want to talk about their experience, especially the younger students. She says, let them talk about it. But she says if teachers see children who are unable to function, maybe they seem a little more withdrawn, maybe refer them to the school counselor. Yeah, it's a lot to deal with.

- Especially when you're that age. Oh my goodness.

- Absolutely.