It’s all over the news and social media… pictures of a city drowning in flood waters. What is taking place in Houston, TX right now is heartbreaking. We can’t always shield our children from all of the pictures and maybe we should or maybe we shouldn’t… that’s up to you too decide as the parent of your child. Here are some thoughts and links to articles to help you walk through this as a mommy.
1. Lead them to pray. Prayer is powerful. I will never forget the prayers that were offered up for me as I faced Hurricane Katrina. More than the money that was given, the donations that will come in – prayer is what sustains and our children need to see that at work! Pray for those hurting. Pray for provisions of needs. Pray for those serving and rescuing. Pray for the rain to stop. Pray for safety. Pray for God’s glory to be made known. Pray… God hears us and wants to listen to us and when we lead our children to pray through disasters, they will know how to respond “if/when” they ever face their own disaster one day.
2. Lead them to give. Help them understand that no gift is too small. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to pull down the piggy bank that they have and talk to them about the importance of giving financially to others in need. I’m so very thankful for faithful people who gave in the midst of Katrina. There are many ways that you can give. My family prefers to give directly through our home church, First Baptist Spartanburg, who then sends all financial gifts to support the work of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. I would just encourage you to make sure that all of your money will go directly to those in need and in a timely manner.
3. Lead them to serve. I recently came across this quote from Mr. Rogers (love his sweaters…), “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ” It’s so true – and there are great ways to respond and serve. Maybe it’s making a card. Maybe it’s collecting a needed and requested item. Maybe it’s actually going to serve in the recovery process. I will add that you must take great caution here – many times we want to rush to this and we end up causing more disaster. As I journeyed through Katrina, I received amazing support; however, I will never forget the bag of clothes that was given to me that was all size 4s… BAHAHAHAHA, if you know me, well.. I’m not even close to that!?! I laughed at first… but then I cried… a LOT. 12 years later, I can laugh again, sorda. There are times when the truck loads of water and baby formula end up causing more work for an already exhausted city. Check out this great (yet sad) article: When Disaster Relief Brings Anything But Relief. Let your children be a part of helping you serve others.
Our little ones are watching us, as we watch social media and TV and they are waiting for us to respond. What are ways that you can respond today?
Here are other great links as you walk your children through how to handle disasters:
Focus on the Family : Talking to Kids About Natural Disasters
World Vision : 8 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Disasters