Mommy from Beersheva, mom to Sarit, 4.5 and Aviv, 2.5, responded to my post earlier today on coping with rocket attacks:
I guess so far we’ve been pretty lucky in keeping anxiety levels low. I’m not sure if it’s something we are doing “right” or blind luck.
A few things that help us:
- We have a miklat (shelter) in our house. That makes us feel safe because no matter where we are in the house (even upstairs) we can get to it within the allotted time. We can even play in the yard (e.g. today we stayed inside, but not because we had to, we just did. Having the option of fresh air and an outdoor space really helps.)
- Over the summer we really spruced up our miklat, adding a colorful light and LOTS of decorations, mainly made by the kids. This makes it a friendly, comfortable space (with a bed) and the kids enjoy hanging out there. Today I treated them to a movie in the miklat…again, just positive stuff. When we take them down there in the middle of the night, DH grabs Sarit and I take Aviv, so that’s a known factor also. Sarit knows that if we are home alone after DH goes to work then she walks downstairs to the basement holding my hand while I carry Aviv. The SWEETEST thing was last year when I agreed to watch my friend’s two kids for a number of hours because she HAD to go work and Sarit told me she would be like another Mommy since there were a bunch of kids and only one Mommy.
- I think it’s reasonable to give kids a treat on days like these–they got a chocolate pudding for dessert today which is not a normal occurrence in this house ;) I had planned on taking out a new game for them, but luckily they managed to amuse themselves. They got to watch that movie in the middle of the day, but to be honest, that was mostly because *I* was exhausted from not sleeping well and I had to lie down!
- We’ve explained that people send the rockets and that the rockets can hurt us. However, we do not get into HATE and WAR and POLITICS. I refuse to instill hate into my children and I don’t explain that the people in Gaza hate us. We tend to dodge some questions and focus on others, like the fact that we have to try to stay safe since the rockets can hurt us and we don’t know when they are coming, which is why we have a siren. When DH told Sarit about 9/11 (I had told her a bit, but left out the airplane attack) one of her questions was why they didn’t go to a safe room — we then explained that they didn’t have a siren in New York the way we have in Beer Sheva (?!?).
In sum, a bit of chocolate and DVDs and a nice safe room make a real difference for us
Hope that helps!