How to Talk to Your Kids During Disasters

disasters background as words clouds.

Hurricane Matthew just passed and where I live, we were going to be a direct hit. People were panicking because this was a cat 4 hurricane with up to 140 mph winds. Winds at that speeds leave total devastation. Roofs gone, trees down, flying debris along with flooding and power outages.  News casters called “this storm a monster that will kill you.”  One crazed new person even said “you and your children will die.”  Images of house being destroyed by past storms also got shown on TV.  All while children watch and wonder, what is all this mean to me?

 All 3 of my kids reached differently to the upcoming warnings. My oldest at 12 was like, ok whatever, we will deal. I think she felt safe. My middle child, got upset, crying and worrying.  What if the roof blows off?  My youngest is 8 and he thought it was going to be an awesome party.  Lots of sights and sounds and no school.  So, they all had to be talked to individually and at their level.

I addressed their concerns.  What if the roof blows off?  Well, then we stay in a safe room until the storm passes and then we fix our house up.  And mommy gets to redecorate!!  Can I get Chip and Joanna please!  I explained that we have insurance and that anything is replaceable or fixable.  It would be a lot of work but as long as everyone was safe, that’s all that mattered.

I also made sure they knew that God was in control of the storm.  He made the wind blow and determined its course.  There was nothing we could do to stop it or change it.  It was smart for us to prepare for it, but God was in control.  I also talked about how God is in control of our everyday life, even with out a storm.  He gives and takes away.  Once you give you life to Christ, he is the pilot.  Yes, we have to live wisely and make good choices but so very much is out of our control.  Just like a hurricane.

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When you know God, you know that whatever happens, it’s going to be ok.  Illness, death, destruction.  It’s ok.  God has your back.  There is no need to worry.  He will give you peace.  Not saying there will not be sadness or struggles, but beyond that there is peace and joy because you are a child of God.  This life shall pass, but eternity is forever.  I know this doesn’t make much sense to non-believers, but trust me, the peace is undeniable.

So, when tragedy strikes, talk to your kids.  Listen to their fears.  Share with them God’s love and protection.  Then I reassure them, it’s going to be ok.