We all know our kidderz watch us closely. It doesn't matter what we say, as much as much as what we do. Sometimes we don't see how much those wee ones copy us. It might take a comment from an unrelated observer, before we step back and observe that tyke ourselves. Then we truly discover the consequences of our behaviors, as we watch our little shadow play out movements, speak words, and even react exactly as we know we would... if we can admit it.
Unfortunately, I'm not perfect... and I'm seeing it mirrored in my kidderz. Ugh.
We have the ability to form in our children what reactions they have in stressful - even terrifying - situations: For instance, terrorist acts.
What I heard on the radio this week was a quote from a doctor, in regard to how best to talk to our children about this type of event: Teach them that they should be vigilant and alert, but not timid.
That is a great way to put it.
The initial event that got this topic going a couple of years ago was Hurricane Irene.
All around us, people were hyped up. The media got everyone going.
I'm not saying we should not prepare. Definitely, we need to be informed and have a plan of action. However, I could see it getting so bad that children were terrified.
I love the line from A Bug's Life, when Mr. Soil says: "Do not panic, do not panic! We are trained professionals. Now, stay calm."
That is kind of the gist of the message from the doctor on the radio. No, we parents are not trained professionals (though we wish we were trained as professional parents sometimes), but we are in charge of our family's well-being, and we are our children's teachers.
Moments like these are great learning opportunities.
During the hurricane:
Were hubby and I uncertain of the right decision of whether to stay or evacuate? Yes.
Was I a bit scared? Yes.
Did we take precautions? Most definitely.
Was a backup plan in place? Uh-huh!!! You'd better believe it!
However, instead of falling into the defeatist attitude of "we're doomed," and running around in a panic, not thinking clearly, we chose to follow through with my birthday wish for that week: Have some family photo booth fun!
We had to change it up a bit, since it wasn't a good idea to be outside in the crazy weather, which meant going to the mall's photo booth wouldn't be an option. So, we gathered all our hurricane emergency supplies, huddled together in our tiny downstairs bathroom, as our "fallout shelter," and enjoyed a photo booth experience.
Yes, the picture you see here is the actual result of our silliness. The kids loved it... and so did the parents. We did not forget what was happening all around us, and we did keep up-to-date on the storm, etc., but we also passed the time much more pleasantly than we could have.
Granted, there were some very serious conditions, in which people were terribly affected. Those are times of crisis, when plan becomes action. Wisdom is necessary.
Until it gets to that point, though, we can remain lighthearted.
In whatever situation, we can have hope and joy.
Can we teach that to our kidderz? Yes, we can!
Do you choose to go into panic mode, get your kidderz all riled up, and teach them that the way to handle a crisis is through confusion, chaos, and drama?
Do you choose to remain calm, formulate a plan, and teach your kidderz to be vigilant and alert, rather than timid?
"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold."