Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Preparing for disaster

My son is six. So clearly he needs to know everything about tectonic plate movements. I didn't know that six-year-olds were interested in tectonic plates, but apparently they are. In the past two weeks, I've had to find videos on how plate movements cause everything from mountain formations and earthquakes to how they once caused the Beringia land bridge to break apart.

All of this, of course, I didn't know or didn't remember from the limited science that the nuns imparted upon me. But the good news from all this information is that I have also gotten to talk to my son about natural disasters.

Let me explain why that is a good thing.

Talking about earthquakes has lead to discussions around other natural disasters like tornadoes, storms and floods, which opens up the opportunity to discuss how we prepare for disasters. This is a topic that most parents don't like to broach with their children, and I can understand why: I won't let my son watch the news because I think it is too scary for him. But I am OK making sure he knows where we will meet in case we have to evacuate the house and what our family plan is.

What's not so fun is explaining that when a disaster happens people can get hurt. That is a scary thought for children, so I try to remind myself that my number one job has changed: My job used to be to keep him safe. And that is slowly changing to: Prepare him for life - the good and the bad.

What natural disasters have you talked to your children about? Tell me in the comments.

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