Thursday, February 24, 2011

How much is too much information for young children?

The team at Bubs About Town are heartbroken to learn of the tragic deaths of two babies in the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Of course any loss of life in this situation is awful but hearing about little defenceless babies makes our hearts wrench and eyes water and so this week we have gazed upon our own gorgeous toddlers/babies and wondered what if?

What a terrible thing to have to think about, and indeed it doesn’t bear thinking about, from the floods in Queensland, the fires in Victoria to the earthquake in New Zealand there has certainly been enough heartbreak to go around lately and the scariest thing is how do you prepare for the things that can’t be prepared for.

In our homes we have started talking about our ‘What If’ plans and though my husband was initially doubtful it was soon apparent that this was the only thing that would help me sleep at night so we now have meeting spots in case of emergencies and these vary for each disaster from flood, bushfire, tsunami and earthquake as well as a list of essentials to take from the house.

Although this has lessened my anxiety I was shocked to hear my son parroting information he had obviously got off the news, “people trapped under rubble mummy, mummy what’s rubble?” I had had the telly on in the background watching the latest disaster this week and didn’t think much about it until he said this. Having to think on my feet I explained as simply as I could that there was an earthquake which made the ground move and because it shook quite hard then some buildings fell down where people were working. The inevitable question was “why?”

Now I should have known better after his reaction to the floods in Queensland, especially as his father was preparing to go there for work this week when he got quite anxious and told me “daddy can’t go, it’s flooded”.

We’d love to know how other parents have explained these natural disasters to their children and how much detail you have gone into with them without giving them a fear of the world that young children should never have.

Either comment here or email us at  and let us know, all comments will be published (can be done so anonymously if requested).