You come home after an evening dinner with your family and immediately realize something is wrong. The door is half open, the furniture is tipped over and all of your belongings are on the floor. You breathe a sigh of relief and are grateful no one was home while you were burglarized, but now what? The children feel nervous and scared -- a completely natural feeling after a home break-in. Calming your children's fears becomes your number one priority. Here are tips to help your children feel safe again.

Listen to your children

In the days following a break-in, your children might have a million questions about the break-in. They may ask, "Why did it happen? or Will the police catch the people who did this to us? or "Will it happen again?" You may not have specific answers to their questions, but it is important you don't dismiss their fears. Ignoring their concerns will only fuel anxiety and more worry. Sit down with your children for as long as it takes and let them vent what they are feeling.

Purchase a phone

Purchasing a cell phone is a great way to help your children feel at ease. Show them the features of the phone -- how easy it is to dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency or contact you whenever they think it is necessary. Program numbers into their favorite's list so that they are able to connect to loved ones within seconds. Although you want the best for your children, you don't want to break the bank for a new cell phone. Here is the good news - There are pre-owned models, like the iPhone 5 from T-Mobile available for purchase. Inexpensive and practical, purchasing this phone will help give you and your children peace of mind.

Implement an action plan

Taking proactive measures to show your children your home is safe and secure is important. Install a security system in your home and purchase panic button key chains for all of your children in case of an emergency. Add additional deadbolts to your doors, check all windows and make sure your gate is secure to show you are taking steps to protect your home.

Encourage distractions

You and your children might feel overwhelmed after a break-in takes place. As much as you want to dwell on what happened, it can overload your children with too much, too soon. Getting out for a family dinner, a movie or bowling is a great way to show your children it is possible to have fun again. This downtime will prevent you from focusing on the break-in and help you return to your regular routine.

Consider counseling

If months have passed since the burglary and your children still seem scared about what happened, you may want to consider talking to a counselor to get expert help on coping with the effects of the break-in. Getting the right kind of help will ease anxiety for all of you!

After a break-in, you want life to return to normal for your children. This isn't always easy, but with some patience you can help to ease your children's fears and resume regular activities again!