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What Happened to My World?

We are deeply saddened to see the devastating effects of the rains and flooding in Colorado that have displaced families and destroyed homes and neighborhoods. Our thoughts and concerns are with the many Bright Horizons families and staff in the area, and the entire community working to cope and ultimately to repair and rebuild.

Below are resources for families, teachers, and caregivers who are working to help children cope with this natural disaster. We hope these resources provide a guide help children understand the world around them and for healing to begin. 



What Happened to MY World? 

What Happened to MY World? Helping Children Cope with Natural Disaster and Catastrophe (Click here to download PDF) is a resource for parents, teachers, and anyone working with children. What Happened to MY World was written to help adults peer into the minds of children from infancy through the teenage years, and understand their confusion, fears, grief, and struggles to understand why inexplicable accidents or the forces of nature can suddenly disrupt or destroy the world as they know it. It is to help both those who experience and survive catastrophe firsthand, as well as the children who witness from a distance and wonder what it was like or whether someday they will find themselves in similar circumstances. 




What Happened to the World? 
Click here to download What Happened to the World? a guide to helping children cope in turbulent times including terrorism and war. This guide was written by Jim Greenman, Senior Vice President of Education and Program Development for Bright Horizons Family Solutions, following the tragic events of September 11.

Once again, the threat of terror that could strike anyone is in the headlines. What do our children think and feel when they hear that a plane could be blown out of the sky, perhaps one that someone they know and love might be on? What do we tell children about the world that they live in?

The guide provides advice and resources to help children manage grief and fear.



Bright Horizons Director Brendamarie Contreras shares tips on how to talk to young children about the Boston Marathon bombings.





Helping Children Cope with Natural Disaster and Catastrophe For Japan (English language version) 

What Happened to OUR World? Helping Children Cope with Natural Disaster and Catastrophe (PDF)

Extraordinary events like the earthquake, tsunami and continued concerns about radiation exposure in Japan test us all as citizens and human beings sharing a planet. They test us as parents, both as guardians of our children trying to keep them emotionally safe, and as our children’s teachers trying to raise them to become enlightened and empathetic adults.

Children grow into the kind of people they will become at least in part by how we guide them though their questions, concerns, and fears, and whether we use the teachable moments thrust upon us to provide them with support, care, and guidance.


Helping Children Cope with Natural Disaster and Catastrophe For Japan (Japanese language version) 

What Happened to OUR World? Helping Children Cope with Natural Disaster and Catastrophe (PDF)









Additional Resources



What Happened to MY World? Helping Children Cope with Natural Disaster and Catastrophe (PDF) (Click here to download PDF) is a resource for parents, teachers, and anyone working with children. What Happened to MY World was written to help adults peer into the minds of children from infancy through the teenage years, and understand their confusion, fears, grief, and struggles to understand why inexplicable accidents or the forces of nature can suddenly disrupt or destroy the world as they know it. It is to help both those who experience and survive catastrophe firsthand, as well as the children who witness from a distance and wonder what it was like or whether someday they will find themselves in similar circumstances. 

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