Calling All Parents of Little Onesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I have seen very little written on this topic & I was wondering how Parents are handling y2k with their children.
They must see the stash of beans, what do you tell them? How have they reacted? Have you included them in preps, if so, in what way?
-- Deborah (email@example.com), March 04, 1999
Early on--before my husband asked me not to discuss this with our young daughter (because he doesn't think Y2K will be that bad and he doesn't want to worry her)--I told her there was a chance that we might lose things like electricity, and we might have to cook in our fireplace, etc., etc. and she was actually excited! She wants to live like they did 100 years ago!
I think that's a clue that the best way to handle this with children may be to assure them you will take care of them and make it a game!
We'll see. . .
Just my 2 cents worth. I need some help in another area, from the old-timers here and those who've been able to convert DWGI's into GI's. See the thread "Help! Caught between a rock and a hard spot!"
-- FM (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
Tell them the truth. We did. I have 3 little ones. Don't keep it from them, thinking that you're protecting them from worry. Kids are resilient, and preparing them now will help avoid inappropriate behavior, impatience and tantrums later.
Plus turning it into an adventure creates a spirit of "I can't wait" in them. They jump up and down now at the prospect of a storm knocking out power - "It's practice Dad!" shouts the eldest.
Out of the mouths of babes.
-- INVAR (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
I have 2 little ones. They are for sure aware of whats up. I think that in the same way I remember Kennedys death as a kid (remember where I was standing when I heard at a tender age of 4 years) they will remember this year. We tell them that we are saving money when we bulk buy ect. They for sure ask whats "so big about Y2K anyhow" and "why are we buying so much food".
I kinda cut the noise down around them as they are talking about it at school. But my point is, my kids and the ones we are around are taking notice.
My advice, we show no fear. We do what we do with as much "as a matter of fact" attitude as possible. This seems to have worked as there is no fear that I can see in our children. This is a good thing.
Its kinda funny however that they sometimes say things like "when Y2K comes" and "I just wish this Y2K thing would get over with". PS my children are very young. ww
-- WAYNE WITCHER (WWITCHER@MVTEL.NET), March 04, 1999.
I have been wondering about this too. My son, bless his sole, is starting to ask questions, as things are starting to take over my sewing room. He is used to the monthly grocery shopping, and does not question it. But he is starting to wonder about why so many trips with the same amount.
As of late, our family has spent much more time without the things we will most likely be doing without next year. He doesn't play on his computer nearly as much as he did a few months ago (he is only 5, so he played on it a bunch). Lately when weather permits, we have taken to going fishing. He is learning this new skill, and is actually becoming quite good at it. So far, we have released all of our catches, but in the near future, we plan on bringing some home for dinner. He even insists on helping me bring wood into the garage for when I bring it into the house for the wood stove. He has always loved to garden, and I know he will be a "big" helper to me when the weather warms enough to plant.
All in all, we are just trying to make our life more simple. He has gone for this with 150% of what I expected. He has never complained at once, and really seems to enjoy it. The only thing that I think he will miss for a while is cartoon network, but hey... I'll miss it too. He already loves to read when he goes to bed at night, so we are starting to do it more during the daylight. If he ever asks as to why there is a store in the house, I will be honest with him. I will not do so until he asks, as I do not wish to scare him.
I realize this is probably not what you are looking for, but here it is. Hope this helps you. Donna
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
It probably depends alot on the age and personality of your children. I find that children are highly adaptable and will probably ride out Y2K much better than the adults assuming that they are provided for properly. I've made sure that the foods I'm stocking are some of their favorites and that we have treats stashed as well. I'm focused on having good lighting more for their benefit than mine. That sort of thing.
Also, having special games/activities lined-up can keep the home atmosphere fun for them.
I have very young children and see no reason to discuss Y2K with them. My wife and I plan to treat Y2K like an adventure with them making sure to keep any worries we have private.
If I had older children, I'd talk to them about it so that they can know about it and help with the prep. But I would make sure to tailor my approach to their personality. I would never want to have my kids fearful of Y2K. It doesn't serve a purpose. For their sake, it's important for parents to remain strong and confident regardless of the circumstances. They will draw their strength from YOU.
-- David (David@BankPacman.com), March 04, 1999.
If you haven't yet seen it, I highly recommend the movie "Life is Beautiful", with Roberto Begnini. It's about a father who shepherds his family through a World War II concentration camp by convincing his child that it's all just an elaborate game. Doesn't change the situation, and doesn't change the hardships, but he removes the fear and the horror from the equation. It might be the way to operate with very little ones; for older children the truth, accompanied by lots of love and reassurance, is probably the best path.
-- Bruce (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
Hi Deborah: There haven't been many threads about this. Thanks for bringing it up. The kids know what is going on - we told them and they understand that we may not have electricity and other things for a while. We have been careful Not to tell them about some specific preps or anything which, in their innocence, they may repeat to little (or any other) ears that we just don't want folks knowing about.
We also went and stayed in an Amish area for a while last fall so they could see first hand that people do live happily in different ways then we currently do, and that that is ok. We have stocked up on puzzles, games, crafts, all kinds of things that they can do rather than watch the tube, which thankfully, they do not do too much of.
Also, it is important first and foremost that they know you love them and intend to be there with them regardless of what happens. Come to think of it, we adults are not much different in that respect. Anyway, I have often thought that our kids, or should I say children in general, are simultaneously both more susceptible and more resilient than we adults.
-- Rob Michaels (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
My one and only eight yr. old son thinks its cool. I told him it's going to be the camping trip of a lifetime. -Dad
-- Steve (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
We have three of them...5,11,15 We hide nothing from them and tell them the truth.
The 5 year old...the whole world is a game to kids that age Except bath...that's hateful.
The 11 year old thinks it's an adventure coming up.. he's constantly thinking up things to 'help'. He looks at things in context of what will be useful if we have no power and goods/money are tight.
The 15 year old is aware, but far too wrapped up in video games, computers, friends, and the future (cars, girls,etc). He knows what we do, why we do it, and just doesn't care a whole lot about it. If anything I think he does not look forward to having to WORK hard (yuk, bleh, gross, work, oh sick).
We tell them the truth...and they help in what we do to get ready and prepare. The family will have to face whatever happens, so it's best the family work together getting ready.
Knowing what's happening is the best way to lose the fear. I don't want my kids to be afraid if the economy tanks and we lose our home, or the lights go out for a few weeks, or even if the worst happens and the world goes nuts. They don't have to be afraid becuase they KNOW we are as ready as we can be, they know because they helped us do it.
As an aside, we have TV and VCR and video games that can all be powered by 12 volts if need be. It's not hard to do and not too expensive. We LIKE creature comforts and even if we end up living in our camper on our friends farm we intend to be ingenious enough to do so comfortably. We may be poor, but we'll have Nintendo!! (and means to defend it as well)
-- Art Welling (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
I am not surprised at the wonderful posts on this thread. I started it because I knew it would help parents (including me).
My eight year old overheard discussion he shouldn't have. (like I don't carry enough guilt) He's a news junkie, and so he heard other stuff too. He was worried. This is the way he is. He is interested in adult things, and then worries about them.(I think it's an '8' thing)
Anyway, I asked him what his number one fear was. His answer, power outage (smart kid) so, I showed him what I had done to prepare so that we wouldn't be sitting around in the dark, (he was IMPRESSED). I explained that I had done alot of research and will figure out any potential problem that could possibly occur, and prepare for it. I told him that it is my job to take care of him, I always have in the past and y2k will be no different. He accepted this without question, and now seems content to ignore the issue (with one eye on the preps of course).
My younger daughter is oblivious, happy go lucky & carefree. I'm not going to burst her bubble. She knows she can ask me anything, and when the time comes I will answer any question she has.
I posted this also because, I have not been involving my kids with preps. I am reluctant to rock the boat. They deserve whatever carefree childhood they can get, on the otherhand this could be a valuable learning expeience for them. Deep down I am always afraid I will screw up my kids. I was curious if other people's children were involved in preps & how this was working out.
Children complicate this entire issue. If it were only me, I would probably procrastinate much more. My level of preps would be much more casual. My children motivate me. Whenever I am temtped to slow down, I see their faces, and I know any chance of them being cold, thirsty, or hungry is unacceptable. It is just not a chance I am willing to take. I'm sure I speak for many.
This may be naive,or even sound like a lie, but riots don't scare me. Hunger doesn't scare me. I guess when it comes right down to it death does not scare me. Not being able to provide the basics for my children SCARES ME out of my wits.
-- Deborah (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
We have seven chidren, ranging from age 19 years down to eight months. It has been the most difficult for the three oldest, becaause in our case, preparing meant relocating out of urban southern California. Even beyond leaving friends and loved ones, we are faced with difficult issues such as if and where to attend college this fall. Our firstborn daughter is a talented artist and had previously planned on an excellent art school in southern California. For our family, it is not so much the physical aspects of Y2K, because although a few of us (female) may prefer to not "rough it" and live like we are camping, we are sensible enough to realize that you do what you have to do. The six males in the family don't mind the back to basics much at all. It is the emotional issues, such as leaving friends, worrying about those we love who will NOT prepare, and facing such an unsure future, that makes Y2K such an emotional bomb. Our oldest son is fifteen, a history buff, fairly patriotic for his age group. It is disturbing to learn that some credible people question whether or not we will have presidential elections in this country again. We feel that the technological aspect of Y2K is one thing, but the loose cannon Human Factor is another. I WISH that we only had younger ones to prepare emotionally for this, but am thankful for all the practical help the teens are giving. God bless all of you fellow strugglers out there.
-- Joan (Shezdremn@aol.com), March 04, 1999.
Your last comments struck a chord. I have told my occasionally GI but mostly DWGI spouse over and over that my main concern is not religious or political. I have one and one goal for this time, that the most important people in my world, my two children and my DW, * never * come to say that they are hungry or thirsty or cold. If I can achieve this, and keep my family out of harm's way, I will have succeeded. Money in the bank, the new car, the house, all are irrelevant if my kids are hungry or thirsty because of my inaction.
The big question for me is: If little happens, then I have invested about 8% of our net worth in preps and I sheepishly apologize to my DW. If TSHTF, and I failed in some preparation that puts my family at risk, what reaction am I going to have to my DW who has done little or no preparation or support, other than grudgingly allow me to invest 8% of our net worth, and who let me start spending as fast as I can to get ready? Can I ever trust her to really support me or the family again? This has been on my mind a lot lately, and I don't have a good answer.
Thanks to you all for your energy, research, ideas and support. In a strange way, this is my community.
Best to all.
-- Dad to Two (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
We haven't discussed Y2k with our little six year old daughter, but she loves to help stack the groceries "under the house" (our third level). (She knows exactly where to find the spaghettios!) So far it's just "fun" for her.
One of the reasons this Y2k thing has been so hard is because we don't want to make a wrong decision that may compromise her safety--as well as our own. Go or stay, heat with this or that. Tell the neighbors--stop telling the neighbors (I could only take so many glassy-eyed looks before finally giving up).
I remember how differently I looked at life this time last year when I was "clueless"...life before the knowledge of Y2k....I see little ones in restaurants now and I look at their parents and wonder, "Do they know what's coming? How will they feed these little ones?" I've been doing that more often lately. I hope and pray my little one--and millions of other little ones--will be safe.
-- Scarlett (email@example.com), March 05, 1999.
Well, my 'only' is 18 and knows exactly what might happen. I haven't hidden anything from her, in fact she drives me to the store when it's needed. Her major problem with Y2K is the fact that her dream for life might be going down the tubes. She wants to enter the Video/TV production field. Her birth mom and I have both told her that maybe she could film Y2K from a teenager's point of view as a video story.
-- Flagirl (Filterlady@aol.com), March 05, 1999.
Great thread! My 2yo is a DGI, my 4yo is a DWGI, and the 6yo a GI. (just kidding). Actually, my wife and I were whispering about Y2K two weeks ago, nervously eyeing the kids, when the 6yo said "Y2K? Oh, that's the computer problem. The computer's will stop working next year." Astonished stammering on the part of the adults. "Uh, where did you hear that, honey?" At school. They've been talking about it in first grade. We got books on gardening, and the oldest if very immersed in planning the garden, choosing the crops; she told me she'd love to be a farmer. As far as all the new shelves and food in the basement: it helps mom out to have an extra pantry. As stated above, kids are amazingly resilient--what would we do without them?
-- Spidey (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 05, 1999.
Well, my GI husband and I have one precious 4 year old and I'm sure being the incredibly observant kid she is, she has noticed that the spare bedroom closet is now filled to overflow with food and that we have a lot of "camping" gear in the garage, etc but other than that I don't think anything has registered. I often wonder what I will tell her and I wonder, if Y2K is an 8 or higher (and we survive), how much will she remember about "this" life? She will turn 5 on December 3 (I am also wondering how much of a 5th birthday party she will have). I am trying to keep her life as "normal" as possible. I even sacrificed $20 to sign her up for a 5-Saturday Soccer Clinic through our Parks and Rec Dept this spring, b/c playing soccer is such a passion for her. Kinda felt guilty about spending the $20, but would I have felt guilty about NOT doing it? I don't know....
She is supposed to start school in the Fall of 2000, so I am thinking along the lines of homeschool material, but what?????
One reminder to alllll parents out there! Check your children's immunization records and GET those boosters ASAP!!! Also everyone in my family is going in for complete teeth cleanings in March and October (if things haven't gone totally haywire by then). Don't neglect these things....
Hug those kids.... Preparing Mom
-- Preparing Mom (PreparingMom@home.com), March 05, 1999.
Just had to add one more thing...
I read this somewhere (can't remember where--too tired). I think it speaks for itself:
"When you have a child, you learn what it feels like to have your heart walking around outside of your body."
One very big reason to take Y2k seriously.
-- Scarlett (email@example.com), March 06, 1999.
Scarlett: Actually that quote was *qouted* by Michelle Pfeiffer in a woman's magazine and actually even she admitted she didn't know who said it.....but a great quute, nevertheless, and soooo true.
-- Here (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 1999.
You might want to check out Karen Anderson's excellent website: Y2K for Women. I discovered it last year, and found it very helpful before speaking with our children, last summer:
We have enrolled our children, as part of the team, so that we are all in this together... we ARE anyway! It has made our very big relocation (and leaving the familiar, school, friends, etc.) much easier.
Giving children Y2K projects that they co-devise with you, such as gardening or exploring ways to create alternative energy, etc., is another great outlet and effective way for them to become involved in positive action.
Our kids are very young, so we don't read them Infomagic or Senate Reports at bedtime...just focus on the positive aspects of how we will all be working together as we go through some uncharted waters.
-- Sara Nealy (email@example.com), March 07, 1999.
One source of Homeschooling materials (with a Christian Perspective) is the "A Beka" curriculum. It is excellent.
Don't forget to stock up on lots of underwear, socks and shoes in larger sizes! (Imports)
-- Gayla Dunbar (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 1999.