March 16, 2011

Talking to the kids about...

Japan.
Painting by Katsushika Hokusai -Tsunami with Mount Fuji, Japan

I let my kids watch the news. Together we watched the first Chilean Miner come out of the collapsed mine.
The next day Brandon gave a full presentation to his class about it and drew a diagram on the white board of the mine, the collapsed tunnel and the tunnel that was drilled to save them.
He got it.

We don't gloss over sad news. No those people aren't sleeping. No, those weren't paint guns.

We don't scare the living daylights out of them, but we let them know "Hey, this is what goes on in the world. Not everyone is good. Not everything on the news is bad. Sometimes people make stupid decisions/choices/mistakes. Sometimes some things are just out of our control."

Everything is a lesson.

What happened in Japan was out of our control. Its nothing that anyone "did" or caused to happen. It's the way the Earth works. Of course there is a Scientific explanation of why it happened. We talked earthquakes, Ring of Fire, shifts of the earths layers, how the earth has layers. Then we talked about tsunamis (or Salami's, depending on how your 8 year-old pronounces it), how the shift from the earthquake under the ocean creates such a strong force of water, what happens when that water approaches land and the catastrophic effects of such a strong, fluid force.


We got in the bathtub. I showed the boys how the Earth's plates move under water. They flattened their hands and moved them side by side, jostling the water. Creating waves. Now imagine the force is so strong those waves get bigger and bigger.
They got it.

Together we watched people stand in lines to check names on lists outside of shelters, stand in line for food. We watched a man who owned a noodle shop, who lost everything else, open his shop and feed people for free. We explained how people lost everything. Homes, cars, beds, toys. We explained how people lost each other. How some families become separated; some reunite, some never see each other again. We explained how it changes everything.

So much explaining.

Let them see what's going on. Explain what's happening in Japan, Egypt, Libya ...all around them. They do have the capacity of understanding, even if you have to explain it in simple terms (don't dumb it down).

I guess my point is...talk to your kids.

1 comment:

  1. This is so good Trysh, your kids will grow up level-headed and compassionate. If only all parents would take the time to explain things to their kids so that they "got it."

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