Haiti - What is Your Family Plan?

Mack Cub Scouts small

Cub Scouts now, Rescue Worker later

This week I was feeling a little glum. I had a few close calls with the kiddos that really threw me off my game.

One kid didn’t hold the bus buddy’s hand on the way to the bus stop the other day. She stepped onto the road but jumped back quickly when a driver honked. I spent the rest of the day feeling like I was going to puke.

The very next day, I left baby alone rolling around on the floor to put something in the garbage. When I returned 10 seconds later he seemed to be doing something weird with his mouth. After some serious fishing, I pulled out the remnants of an old balloon. Gasp. I don’t even know where it came from. And here I thought I left him in a safe place.

So in my world, I had a couple of near disasters, though I find it a bit weird using that word in light of Haiti.

I didn’t want to hide Haiti from my big kids. We went on the Internet and heard political leaders speak about the tragedy and watched some Haiti footage. I even told them about all the deaths. I know they will have an answer to the question “Where were you when you heard about the earthquake in Haiti?”

It was a teachable moment and if I played my cards right, they would experience appropriate empathy and feel empowered to help without being totally traumatized. We made a family plan about how we, as a family, were going to response to this tragedy. Our plan included a donation made by me and the Daddy-o. In exchange, the kids had to decide what they were going to give up so that we would have the funds available. It was important to me that they had to do without so that we could give. In addition, each child contributed all of their “donate” money. Each week the biggies get allowance and it is divided between their “spend”, “save” and “donate” piggy banks.

It all ended in tears (by me) when my 10-year-old son asked if he could be a rescue worker and go over the Haiti to help out. Maybe one day.

Did you tell your kids? How much information did you share? Do you worry about protecting them from such news? Does your family plan to help in any way? Please share!

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Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children's label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

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