Coming home to discover a burglary can be upsetting regardless of how old you are. When you have young children in your family, the matter can take on another dimension. The thought of a stranger being in your home and going through your private possessions can be unsettling, but young children might not be able to process the event in the same way that you can, leading to stress and even trauma. What are some of the key ways in which you can help your young children deal with a burglary?
Reassuring and Routine
Reassuring your child is paramount. This can involve reiterating that nobody was at fault, and indeed if anyone happened to be (such as if a door was left unlocked), that it was a simple mistake. Reassuring them can also be aided by returning to your regular family routine and schedule as soon as possible, so as not to allow the burglary to disrupt your family's life. In extreme cases, children can experience trauma after such an event, so it's important to recognise the warning signs so that you can take additional action as necessary. Replacing anything precious to your children that was stolen or damaged can also be helpful.
The Physical and Psychological Strength of Locks
Replacing and upgrading certain components of your home's security can be a pragmatic response to a break in. Your children can benefit from watching this as it happens. A mobile locksmith can visit your home to replace your door locks and your children can watch them as they work. This allows for the replacement of something which may have contributed to the break-in being replaced with something newer and stronger. For added surety, you might also wish to have window locks installed if they are not already in place. Again, your children can observe this physical example of the strengthening of your home's security.
Plans and a More Proactive Approach
Older children might benefit from a more proactive approach. This can involve formulating a safety plan that can help to deter burglars. You and your children can go through the plan together and talk about how to best implement it, perhaps even coming up with a plan tailored specifically for your family and neighbourhood. Some children might even feel reassured if their family was to become part of your local Neighbourhood Watch.
So while a burglary can be upsetting at any age, it's important to remember that your young children might need a little extra help to move on.