I have a 13 year old daughter. Any tips you can give me to help her prepare for the new year?

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My husband and I have one child. She is 13. To all of you who are parents of teenagers, I have a question: How are you helping your children prepare emotionally, mentally, etc. for y2k? It will be a disruption to her teen years, that's for sure! My daughter has some knowledge of how my husband and I are preparing, but there are times that she has told me that she "can't handle all this stuff right now". I am torn between letting her enjoy this year as much as possible, and trying to help her face reality as soon as possible so she is ready to face it psychologically.

-- luannf (flataufm@hutchtel.net), March 18, 1999


Tell her that school will be closed. She'll be looking forward to it!

-- @ (@@@.@), March 18, 1999.

My daughter gets bored at Christmas time @@@@! She loves school! Sorry, that wouldn't work! She is an honor student, and actually looks forward to her classes. Don't forget, that at her age, school is the major social gathering point, too! She misses her friends when she's not there!

-- luannf (flataufm@hutchtel.net), March 18, 1999.

Well that's a bummer, because she probably will be bored. Sounds like a good kid. Why not fill your house with books - she'll be able to get a better education than the schools are giving her. Get her a Ham radio or CB so she can socialize and help the community weather the storm.

-- @ (@@@.@), March 18, 1999.

luannf, I too have an almost 13 yr old daughter, in 7th grade, who is an honors student and is very social. Keep her apart from friends for half a day and she feels that she's in prison. Anyway, what i've done is to just let her know what I'm doing. So far I've told her the basics about Y2K and what might happen. Not everything that might happen, just about power might go out and food supplies might not be available. As I learn more I plan to involve her more in preparation this year, if necessary. But other than that I think she should go on living her life, enjoying friends, studying, and going on vacation this spring break. Young teens who have never experienced deprivation have no way to conceptualize the possible scenarios. Older teens, like my 17 yr old son, have a greater capacity for understanding the ramifications. He understands that things might get bad, even though he teases me about the preparation. Your daughter, like all of ours, may have some serious adjustments to make next year. How she will handle it will depend to a great extent on how her parents handle it.

-- meeko (meeeko@hotmail.com), March 18, 1999.

This is just my opinion, let her enjoy life now as much as possible. Teenagers have so much stress with everything as it is, I don't think they should have to handle anymore. Your daughter does sound like a good girl. My little girls are still very young (4 and 6) so maybe I don't know what I am talking about. However, I do remember what I was like as a teenager and I do know that I could not have handled Y2K in the least. Since she has already voiced her feelings on this subject, just let her go on about her life. If, in time, she decides to come to you about the problem then by all means do everything you can to let her know that her parents are doing everything possible to make sure she is safe and takin care of. After all she is still a child and depends greatly on her parents for support. I believe she is probaly a very smart little girl and will adapt as well psychologically as can be expected. Since you have tried to explain things to her, it won't be a total shock. Sorry for all the rambling on but I really think times will be hard enough in the future, for a child to have to worry now. shellie

-- shellie (shellie01@hotmail.com), March 18, 1999.

Since she enjoys school and learning, teaching her at home during the worst of times should be fairly easy. There are complete courses tailored to her grade and achievement level... here's a start:

Homeschooling Books and Supplies

Good luck...

-- sparks (wireless@home.com), March 18, 1999.

How about giving your head a freakin' shake for starters. There is an extremely good chance that your worrying will be for nought. The power will stay on, the phones will continue to work and your life will continue as always. Have you thought of that possibility?

-- Y2K Pro (2@641.com), March 18, 1999.

Unless your daughter is unusually mature, I would pretty much leave her out of it. My 16 and 12 year old girls just don't really believe it, and at this time I don't think its worth the effort to convince them. Also, if for some reason Y2K is a lot less than most of us expect, it may be counter-productive to push to hard for something that we just can't be oversure about. I'm not sure what good it would do anyway - I don't see a lot af actions they could take.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), March 18, 1999.

Our 13 year old daughter is in on everything we do and why. It's kinda hard to make up an excuse for all the beans. She's not thrilled about it, but not bummed either.

-- Helen (sstaten@fullnet.net), March 18, 1999.

luannf; After reading the above post's I'd like to suggest something for your daughter to do. Have her make a list of her friends and then ask her to ask those friends if they understand Y2K. Perhaps this would be a good time to get their parents together and discuss ths situation, as a group. You might find it will help your daughter to feel needed by your family and her friends. And as a group it will make you aware of how many families know,and just perhaps it will bind you all together helping out. See if it will work and keep us updated.


-- Furie (furieart@dnet.net), March 18, 1999.

furie, I mean no disrespect so I hope you will not take it that way. But, most thirteen year old girls are more interested in talking about school events, boys, makeup, boys....Even if they are very mature for their age I don't think they are mature enough to get the full grasp of how this problem could affect the entire world. Chances are that her friends would not take her seriously and could possibly be very cruel. Look at how the adults act when we mention anything about this to them even when we back up our statements with well documented reports from trusted sources. In a perfect world this would work. But in a perfect world little kittens would not get ran over on the streets either. I believe you have good intentions trying to get everyone to prepare but maybe the adults should try to get together without involving the children. Maybe sending a letter to these people urging them to prepare and backup everything. Not that this will work either but it is worth a try.

-- shellie (shellie01@hotmail.com), March 18, 1999.

I have a two year old, and my best friend-neighbor-semi/sister has a 13 year old boy and 10 year old girl. Whatever happens Y2K we'll be in it together, and we sort of "share kids" to some degree. Justin asked me the other day as we did a long drive, about Y2K. It was really challenging to try to sort out, in my head, a way to explain it to him without scaring him, and yet letting him see it was very serious, and do all that in about 20 minutes or less.

First, I made a point that every time I described something that could happen (e.g., power, water, gas, sewage, fuel, crime, etc. etc.), that I said, "This will happen somewhere. But it may not happen here. Or it might but maybe only a little, or maybe a lot. Nobody knows. We just need to be prepared in case it happens, you know, like having a tornado shelter even though you might only have to dive into it once every year or two. Most of the time it seems like a lot of trouble to build one, expensive, and it takes up all that space in your yard. But boy it only takes ONE close call to make you thank God you did!" He seemed to accept the threats okay that way, knowing that it wasn't impending doom necessarily, just a risk to be aware of.

I surprised myself, I guess. I found myself summing it up at the end by saying, Justin, Y2K is one of those problems that we know about ahead of time. If most people would prepare for it, it would be hard times, very different but we'd probably be okay here on the fringes of the country-areas. The real problem with Y2K isn't what might happen with power or food or whatever, because we can plan for those. The real problem is that as a community, we're all in this boat together. If we plan well and other people don't, when the time comes, we'll have to share our food and things, and then we might not have enough, and that would be terrible for all of us. So the best thing we can do for ourselves is to help other people in our little town see how important preparing for this is. After all, better safe than sorry.

In the end, he was interested in what we could do to prepare, and helping. He's going to be a big help with the garden and I'm giving him his own little plot as well. I'm sure it's different for every person, let alone every teen. But being very straight with him, and letting him know the worst possibility and the best possibility, and then saying we don't KNOW what will happen HERE, seemed to provide enough facts mixed with safe-ambiguity to do the trick.

For kids that are really into school, it might depend on their core reason. If the clothes parade is the focus, they're not going to be real happy come Y2K chances are. If learning is the focus (it was with me at that age), they might actually really enjoy learning lots of new stuff in a hurry for Y2K, and feeling responsible for being included, and feeling optimistic about what they can do to help when the time comes.

You know that one of the most psychologically difficult parts of this topic, even to adults, is the uncertainty. Children left out of enough information to feel confident have twice that stress. To me, being "easy" on a kid 'cause they're a kid does not consist of either lying (as some will) or simply withholding major possibilities (as some will). To me, making it easy on them means making them feel that we're smart enough, hard working enough, and creative enough to plan well now and deal with it well later. Like boot camp, sell them on the idea it's an "adventure" and they might actually enlist willingly. (Gads!)

Fear, like pain, is mostly perception. And like pain it sometimes is useful and/or can't be avoided. One can either feel like a victim in trauma or feel like a hero in battle. I want to push the kids toward the latter. No matter how bad things might be, if we survive, life goes on, especially for kids who rebound better than adults generally. They'll still get crushes and have dreams and birthdays, and I hope that even in a dark hour, I can help make those possible and positive experiences for them. Starting now, because attitude is everything.

PJ in TX

P.S. It occurs to me that you could come up with some kind of "Y2K Project" for your daughter and her friends to do together. Some subject they could learn about and do. I'm thinking.... hmmmn. Maybe plants, or the Ham radio the person above mentioned was a great idea (not CB, but Ham).

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), March 18, 1999.

We have a 15 year old son, who is also experiencing some fears with the unknown. I am no computer/Internet expert by any means, but is there some way we could bring these teens together via Internet and/or e-mail at this time? I have looked for such a site, but have only found one Y2K site for kids, complete with the glossed over "story" relating to inconveniences and the general message was "you may have to find something else to do besides Nintendo for the few evenings the power is off in January". Any suggestions?

-- cinnamon (brooksj@skybest.com), March 19, 1999.

I, too, have a 13 year old daughter; also a 9 year old daughter. They both know that I am preparing for what MAY be a very bad year, that I am concerned about our electricity working, about keeping us fed and warm if it doesn't.

Just as with adults, preparation does alot to keep their fears in check. They know quite alot about what kind of preps are in place and what further preps are planned.

Rimmer's Y2K drill is an excellent idea, one that I want to do, too. The more prepared anyone is in an emergency situation, the better the chances of a good outcome.

I think most kids who are taught the concept of consequences in their upbringing understand that having insurance is not the same thing as needing it. I've tried to stress that point to them when they are showing lots of fear.

When I find myself starting to gloom too much, I cut back on visits here, and remind both myself and them that we don't know that TEOTW is at hand. When I catch myself acting like this world will last for ever, I go buy something else from my supply list, and revisit the asylum for encouragement.

Got balance?

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), March 19, 1999.

To all who responded to my question: Thanks so much! But there is one person I want to respond to: that's Y2K Pro.

You ask me if I have ever given my head a shake, if I've never considered that it may not be bad. Yes I have. Sorry, but after reading about this problem and doing what I consider reputable research, I have come to the conclusion that this is not a time to be part of the "Don't worry, be happy" crowd.

How I wish Y2K was not the problem it will be! There are days I feel it has robbed me and my family of our life. My husband and I were planning to adopt two waiting children in 1999. That has been put on hold. I can't see bringing two more children into our family when y2k has, for us, created enough problems for just the 3 of us in terms of preparing and surviving it.

There's also some info about me that makes this question a serious one for us. I have a kidney transplant - as of yesterday the 18th, I celebrated 17 years with it. When I first "got it", I fully realized its implications in a very personal way: if I didn't prepare, I would most certainly die. I am stockpiling medicines, food, water, etc. because not only do I want my family to live, but I want to live as well. My daughter and husband not only have to deal with preparing for y2k, but eventually, they may have to deal with my death due to y2k, if my meds run out and the situation is really bad.

So I look at my daughter and sometimes think "Will I make it? Can she learn what she needs to learn in case something happens to me? Will I see her turn 16?" She recently asked me, " Mom will y2k prevent my graduation from high school? Mom what is going to happen to all my friends and their families?" She's a sensitive kid, bright and articulate, but to so many of her questions I have to say I don't know what will happen, no one does, it's in the hands of God. There are days I feel helpless, and then I go back to my list of things to do to get ready, and I feel better. But, I am also looking for ways to help her cope as well. Your response did nothing to help me in contrast to the other replies.

I know that none of her friends families are preparing. She's worried about them starving. I had mentioned earlier in the year to several parents of her friends about my concern for y2k and I was hoping we could all get together form a group and exchange info. All I got was blank stares. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Like you, y2k Pro, they are part of the don't worry, be happy crowd. But by the end of the year, they will panic. Count on it. Should I try again? Maybe I will in April. If I get blank stares, I will give up on the families and pray for them. There is only so much 1 person can do for others. But I do look at what I can do for my family.

I have decided to gauge her readiness, day by day, on the issue. In the meantime, she can listen to the backstreet boys, hang out with her friends, gab on the phone, and life for her will be kept as normal as possible. Because next year, y2k pro, her life will be anything but.


-- LuAnn Flatau (flataufm@hutchtel.net), March 19, 1999.

here's a forum for teens

http://venus.beseen.com/boardroom/d/ 27998/

not a lot of activity there (so far) but it could become a place for our kids .........i've got a 13 year old girl, too...... to meet and discuss things that are relevent to their own ideas and needs of preparedness....

i know the guy who runs it, and i'm sure he will keep an eye on what is being posted there..........but even so........please make sure your kids don't go giving out any info there that you wouldn't post yourselves

hope this helps


-- andrea (mebsmebs@hotmail.com), March 19, 1999.

I have 2 daughters 15 and 8, 15 year old is an honor student and during the ice storm books saved us from killing each other.She has also told me that she does not want to hear about it.We have 2 emails so once in awhile I mail something to her so she can read it for her self because at this time in her life everything I say to her just has to be BS.I also have her file everything I print out,gives her a chance to look it over on her own,we have also gone over the house and started to get rid of junk,good junk goes on lawn sale,her job is to price everything and all the extra money will go for more preps,other than that she will not talk about it.I think I know why to.When we first started to do our preps and talking about it she was fine,the facts just hit her in the face one day and I could see it hurt,I hurt for her.I just leave her out of it for now it's the best thing I can do for her.


-- Darlene (boomer@tdstelme.net), March 19, 1999.

My 13 year old daughter is in the middle of preparations. She has her own areas of interest, is looking for a treadle sewing machine and good buys on fabrics.

She is studying herbal stuff in case it gets bad enough that OTC remedies are not available.

It took her about 10 minutes to "get it". Maybe I was wrong, but it never occurred to me not to be completely open and up front with her about the situation.

-- Jon Williamson (pssomerville@sprintmail.com), March 19, 1999.

what you have a 13 yera old daughter?

can I have one please? she is probably a virigiann and i want one of those cause now.

-- jeerry (jerry@me.com), March 19, 1999.

i recommend regular drills for the whole family, once a month or more, to include the daughter of course. shut off the electricity, tape the fridge door closed, put out the oil lamps, and have a family games night, with cards and/or board games. attendance mandatory. this is preparation without being onerous.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), March 19, 1999.

pull out the guns, smash the windows (butt stoke them) and blaze awway at anything you see cause they're probbly commies or intuders- "die you rotten commie try to steal our food!" bang bang bang "mom you just killed our next door neihbour." "bugger."

what is a drill without guns?

who does a drill if nobody's kill!

-- jerry (HESTON@NRA.gov), March 19, 1999.

Ignore the troll above.

If you guys think it would be helpful, I could create a private message board (no trolls) for teens. My husband and I own a web hosting and design service and we've got plenty of space and software to do that kind of thing, and it wouldn't hurt us to do it free. Although, your interest in it may not mean your teen is interested. :-) But if you think it would be worthwhile, I'd be willing.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), March 19, 1999.

I have 2 children ages 14 (boy) & 12 (girl). They both understand what might happen. We have explained that we need to garden and store extra supplies. They know that there could be riots, no water, no electricity, no phone, ect.. We have always talked to our children on any events that will and could effect our family. They are great kids and I want them to know that they are part of the family and can put in their ideas. I think it helps them (especially at this age) to express their ideas and to discuss what we could do to change or help with the problem at hand. I think this will help them in their adult lives, cause we haven't sheltered them from the world and it's problems. Our kids still act like kids, they have their friends, sports and all the activities that go along with being a teenager, they don't worried about what might happen but they do understand. I feel as they need to know cause when/if it does happen we need them to be ready for anything. Just think, what it will be like if you haven't told her more about the Y2K problems and there is no electricity and riots break out, what kind of emotional problems will she have when her "perfect" world falls apart. I know I would totally freak out if my "perfect" world fell apart and all the "cushy" ways of life where gone and I need to survive on the bare essentials. Worried for my life and my kids, where is the food coming from, how are we going to keep the food from others and how are we going to stay warm etc.... I will be stressed and worried as it is, I don't need added stress from my children during this time because they dont understand what's happening So I think you should tell your daughter what could happen, let her have access to information that she can read then discuss what she feels and what she thinks she can help with. You can't force her to listen but have information available and be ready to talk about it. There are a lot of sites on the Internet that have information. Just think how you would feel if you where in her place. I hope everything works out for you.

P.S. We talk to our kids about strangers, drugs, sex, and drinking why not this?

-- M from CO (MMathes434@aol.com), March 19, 1999.

I was so excited after reading the last 4 or 5 more/less post,about our kids being able to talk to each other that I ran into my daughters room and told her.She said no way,its already to depressing.(I should have thought this out,sent the site to her,let her go and get hooked.NOT)I can understand why she would say no,and it hurts. And she could help me with this,she is smarter than me but best of all she can remember alot more than me,we are good friends,my best female friend I have,even if we do not see eye to eye.


-- Darlene (boomer@tdstelme.net), March 19, 1999.

I have a 16 yr. old daughter, and a 8 yr. old son. I told them both at the same time about y2k. I didn't go into all the details that i had found, i just gave them the basics on what might happen that would personally affect them and what i was doing to prepare us if those things happened. I then gave them each a sheet of paper and told them to make their own prep lists. My teen grumbled but i told her it was not an option unless she did not want anything special for herself. That shed a whole new light on the project.

After they finished their lists and i had a chance to review them we set a family prep trip in motion. This is fun for the kids, and you get a chance to spend time with them without them complaining about grocery shopping being boring. Each child got a bookbag, and began to select the personal things they wanted to go into it. It costs just a little more for the mylar toothbrush, then a regular one, but my daughter actually enjoyed picking out these mundane things. She also has started her own candle collection, animals, flowers,etc., and uses her own money from babysitting to buy them. It's shopping to her, and that's one of the things teens like to do.

I also try to make time each week for something we can do together. This takes alot of creative energy, as teens do not want to spent time with the old folks. Bingo is one of their favorites, because i get little prizes from the dollar store and they like to get the goodies. I am stocking these little treats for family bingo next year too!

The last big thing i am doing is taking a family vacation this summer. I know alot of Ker's will think the money should go into preps but this may be the last summer in a long time we can do this so i think it is money well spent. Also it will give everyone a well deserved breather!

I hope some of this will give you some ideas to work with your daughter and may God bless you and your family.

-- kitten (kitten@vcn.net), May 20, 1999.

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