I am writing this blog waiting for the hurricane, now tropical storm to pass. I live in Connecticut and we were told to expect severe winds, power outages, trees down and flooding. My husband and I prepared for the storm in the same way as everyone else, securing everything outside that could blow away, stocking up with some food and water, checking our generator worked, finding lamps, flashlights and buying batteries. We spoke to friends who were advised to evacuate and offered them a bed for the night and I checked in with our neighbors and everyone seemed ok.
I thought about the community coming together to help each other and the lessons we are passing onto our children.
1. Be prepared, get organized.
As I prepared for the storm, I thought of the valuable lesson in teaching our children to think and plan ahead. Younger children need to be taught how to do this but as they become older, they can start taking on more responsibility: What supplies are needed for school? Which bus to take to school? Where is the best room/ place for homework? How to keep their room tidy? It is easier for children to be organized if they have storage bins, charts describing what to do, low hooks to hang up jackets, a place for shoes, sports equipment, etc. but despite buying them all the boxes and storage bins they need, some children find it very hard to be organized. It can be really frustrating and hard to find the patience.
The more organized we are as a family, the more control we feel. We all know the feeling of losing things and rushing around frantically trying to find it. It always seems to happen when we are running late, getting the kids out to school or going to work. However, it was a goal I strived for when my kids were young and looking back, I am not sure if I achieved it.
2. Being calm, accept what is happening.
During a storm, or any other time, no one wants a power outage but having a positive attitude and trying to cope as best as you can helps children learn that things do not go as we would like. Thinking out of the box and trying different things can add fun and variety to a boring evening: Games by candlelight, eating dessert before a main meal, and all going to bed at the same time.
Sometimes it is very hard to accept what is going on and if your child is unhappy at school or being bullied, you have to address these concerns. But if your child is not picked to play in a sports team at school or does not get a main part in the play, we can think it is unfair. Maybe it is unfair, and you as a parent need decide when to advocate for your child or encourage your child to advocate for themselves. Things happen and we hate seeing our children upset but we cannot protect them from all of the bumps in life. And getting through the bumps promotes resiliency.
Lastly, checking in with our friends and neighbors during the storm teaches our children kindness. I think kindness is a wonderful trait and should be taught at every opportunity. If everyone treated others with kindness and respect, our world would be a better place.