I just spent 6 and a half minutes watching video of the devastation in Japan. It literally took 6 minutes for a normal street to become a raging river of destruction. How do you even begin to recover from a situation like that? People’s businesses, the stores themselves, literally moved by the rushing water. People’s homes. Everything they know. It’s completely unfathomable.
A friend of mine asked on twitter how much we tell our children in situations like this. Am I alone in that my almost 5-year-olds aren’t watching this footage? Maybe I’m naïve, but I have two highly sensitive children and I know that they have many years ahead of them of worrying about the ills of the world. I hesitate in exposing them to stuff like this just yet.
These are the things about parenthood nobody really talks about. Sure, you want advice on breastfeeding or co-sleeping or when to start solid foods – there are books and advice columns and pamphlets at the doctor. I know, I know, there are some columns and blogs out there on talking to kids about disasters. My point more is that when you go to have children, all anyone really thinks about is how to handle them as infants and toddlers, and everyone and their brother is an expert. But infants and toddlers are EASY compared to dealing with how to handle exposing your children to the scary scary world we live it.
My children currently know nothing of what happened in Japan. They’re 4. They’re biggest concern needs to be whether they get juice or milk with lunch and if it’s nice enough to play outside. In less than 6 months they will start school. For 6 more months, they can be shielded from the worries of the world. For 6 more months they can worry about time outs, and Disney movies, and the Wii (and if you’re N, who wins on Chopped – All Stars). For the rest of their lives they will be citizens of the world.
For now. Let them be little.
(warning – song about babies and children below – don’t watch if you’re emotional)