6 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday May 25 2017 News The Star Study finds how children cope with • By Gabrielle Stuart THINKING HAPPY thoughts about their pets, singing or seeking out friends – they are some of the ways children as young as five say they deal with earthquake stress. Clinical psychologist Maureen Mooney has spent four years interviewing children about their experiences of the earthquakes, and studying how they cope. Many could deal with other challenges in life better than their peers, because of the coping strategies they had developed, she said. Maureen Moody She now plans to use what she learned to help children across the world after disasters through her work with the Red Cross. She said she was impressed by the resilience of Christchurch children. “People questioned it when I wanted to talk with five-yearolds, but I got some wonderful things. These children were articulate, they had developed different skills and they could tell me about it,” she said. “A five-year-old explained how he could support another child by telling them that the earthquake was probably only an aftershock – so ‘just a little one,” she said. Dr Mooney did the research as part of her PhD at Massey University, and expected to officially graduate today. In 2012 she interviewed 42 children from across the city, some aged five, some nine and some 15. She then interviewed some of them again, three years later. At the same time, she interviewed children the same age in Wellington to compare how they coped with challenges. While other young children would usually look to people around them when they were stressed, many of the Christchurch children had internal strategies they used to calm themselves, she said. That was something she would usually only expect to see in older children or teenagers. “One child told me: ‘I used to scream but dad said it wouldn’t help, so now I don’t scream, I just walk around so I don’t feel the wobbles as much’,” she said. “Children practised how to keep calm and used distraction as a coping strategy when they could not control the situation, but then used a problem-solving strategy when they could have some impact on their circumstances.” Older children used video games, texts with friends or sports to help them cope. Although they had better coping strategies, she said many of the children she interviewed had dealt with a lot of stress and did face extra challenges. Many had to have extra help at school or at home, she said. “Most of them were up and down and took a long while to recover. Some faced real stress and had to learn to relax, or learn to breathe because of it. Some were afraid to go into malls,” she said. “A minority plucked up quickly and were wondering what all the fuss was about, and another minority had to have help because they weren’t coping well.” FREE installation* SALE We’ll keep you warm this winter. Fully rated heating right down to -15°C...guaranteed. Vortex Flush NEW LOCATION 13b Parkhouse Rd, CHRISTCHURCH NEW JSD12-6DH 6L Per Min Califont Internal, Battery Operated RRP $399 Now $199 www.dcis.co.nz $3,299 HIGH WALL HEAT PUMP FH50 6.0kW *Conditions apply Back-to-back basic installation Book your FREE in-home quote TODAY! 0800 324 678 T025 RRP $599 Now $429 T005 RRP $399 Now $289 Large range of Tapware and baths at discounted prices OPEN 7 DayS Mon-Fri 9am - 5.30pm | Sat 9.30am - 4pm | Sun 10am-3pm 0800 MILLEN | www.millen.co.nz | 03 348 8678 ScholarShipS 2018 We are offering an exciting new range of scholarships for Year 8 students intending to enrol at Riccarton High School in 2018. • Peerswick Academic • Peerswick Sport • Peerswick Cultural Each scholarship is worth $1,000. Te Kura Tuarua o P taringamotu Applications close Monday 19 June at 4:00pm. For application forms and more information check out the school’s website: www.riccarton.school.nz/peerswick-scholarships/ or contact the office.
The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday May 25 2017 7 quake stress Challenges build resilience But she said most children seemed too come through it stronger. “It takes time and effort and it’s not easy, but children are able to slowly build up a toolbox or a strategy in dealing with this,” she said. She deliberately interviewed children from different parts of the city, and said some had faced a lot of upheaval after the earthquakes, and others a lot less. But it was their teachers, parents and people around them that seemed to have the most impact on how they coped, rather than the amount of upheaval they had faced, she said. Dr Mooney has worked with the Red Cross for 17 years in many parts of the world devastated by disasters, disease or war. That included work with refugees in the Middle East, with ambulance crews responding to terrorist attacks, and with to HIV positive children in Cambodia and the Congo. The research in Christchurch would help her work more effectively to support children who experienced trauma, she said. “I’m interested in how people manage around adversity and what can be done to help them in a dignified way. It’s often the manner in which something is done that helps people and enables them to stand on their own two feet,” she said. STRONG: Thinking happy thoughts about their pets is one way children have dealt with quake stress. • By Gabrielle Stuart OVER THE past year, 12-yearold William Tait has faced plenty of challenges. A year ago he lost his grandmother to cancer. Months later he watched his mother battle breast cancer. This year, his own kidneys failed and he spent more than a week going through painful treatments in hospital. He couldn’t say if his experiences in the earthquakes changed the way he dealt with those challenges – he has lived half his life in a post-quake city, and was stoic about quakes and aftershocks. But he did say the earthquakes taught him a lot about dealing with stress and loss. That included little things – like the grief of losing his prized Ben 10 figurines, which were smashed when the September 4, 2010, earthquake, hit his family’s Parklands home. “A lot of my stuff broke in the earthquakes, so I know the feeling of losing something, and what it’s like when something really bad happens,” he said. He said he had also learned how important good friends STRONGER: Mairehau Primary School pupils William and Alayna have both faced a lot of challenges, and lessons learned in the earthquakes helped them get through. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER were when dealing with stress. “You should always stick near your friends. Because, if you’re with someone you don’t know, they might just laugh at you if you have to talk to them about something. You need someone you trust,” he said. His mother, Louise Tait, said she believed experiencing the earthquake had helped William and his siblings deal with stress and pressure in their lives. “Because they’ve already been through this, they’ve seen people can cope and get through,” she said. Alayna, 12, is William’s classmate at Mairehau Primary School. She has gone through challenges of her own. Last year, she shaved her head and donated her hair to be made into wigs for children battling cancer. She was inspired to do it after seeing one of her mother’s close friends die of cancer. Experiencing the earthquakes had made her more aware of the struggles other people went through, she said. “If one of my friends is having a hard time I just want to be able to comfort them and make them feel better,” she said. Mairehau Primary School principal John Bagma said many children who had lived through the earthquakes were stronger for it, although he was worried others were still not getting the support they needed. Does the 31 October wood burner deadline affect you? Still trying to get your EQ damage or repair issues sorted The deadline to get a building consent to replace wood burners older than 15 years with a low emission wood burner is 31 October 2017. After that, your only option might be the ultra-low emission model. Older style wood burner Low emission Ultra-low emission Do you have any burning questions about this? Which wood burner is cheaper? The low emission model Which one costs less to run? The ultra-low emission model What are my choices after 31 October? In many cases only the ultra-low emission model We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners get what their policy promises. Talk to us about our “no win-no fee” approach. ECN/031/SC_180x130 Which one is better for our health and for the environment? The ultra-low emission model Find out if you need to replace your wood burner and be in to WIN at www.warmercheaper.co.nz Ph: 03 377 8855 | 127 Ferry Road, Christchurch City E: firstname.lastname@example.org | W: www.earthquakeservices.co.nz NO WIN NO FEE
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