In my home town, my family is usually fairly safe from natural disasters like Earthquakes, Tornadoes and Hurricanes, so I have had little reason to “train” my kiddos the strategies of preparing for such events. However, in the summer of 2011 we went through some pretty scary stuff from natural disasters to potential threats...and I had 2 young boys to get through it. During that time, I was amazed at the number of people I witnessed over a period of 48 hours acting as though Armageddon was approaching…and they were sucking their children into their fear induced panic with them!
Yes, I know we had just experienced a 5.8 Earthquake…and Yes, Hurricane Irene was knocking on our shores…but is panicking and scrambling and scaring the crap out of our kids really the best course of action? I, for one, was more inclined to take that opportunity to help teach my children to stay calm, think straight and PREPARE themselves rather than lose their heads and ultimately add to my stress.
I had the chance to chat with both my boys and 2 of my oldest son’s friends one morning before the storm hit, and I asked them what their feelings were about the situation. 3 of the kids said they were a little nervous and 1 child said she was really scared and worried. I asked “really worried” what was bothering her and she told me her parents had said that this was going to be the worst storm in HISTORY and the devastation was going to be catastrophic, people would be homeless and there would be no food or water...and on and on…SERIOUSLY?! I mean I understand wanting our kids to be aware of what’s going on, but instilling that kind of fear into a child is really, well, reckless.