5/27/11

Seeing Fear Through a Child's Eyes

A child's fear is so real. Yesterday throughout the early evening hours, some pretty bad storms went through. We were under tornado watch. There was hail, heavy rains, extreme wind and a very ominous looking sky. I had a few intense minutes where I had to remember to stay calm.

My kiddos were really scared. They kept asking questions while we had the news on. My husband and I were getting frustrated at the many questions, often asked repeatedly. Then I would see the fear in their eyes and try to take a minute to explain as best I could.

Eventually, when it got really intense, the kids, dog an I headed to the basement. My husband said he wanted to keep watching and he would be down if things got worse. I didn't agree with this but I wasn't going to argue. If I had it to do over again, I would insist he join us. My kids were clearly stressed that daddy wasn't with us.

Daddy did join us which made things a little better. That was one less thing the Mini's were worried about. We were all together and I was able to take the opportunity to show my kids that when we are scared, we can pray to God. That He can bring us a sense of peace when we are afraid. My son asked if our house would be safe. I told him I didn't know but that we were together and that is what mattered. We could find a new place to live if we needed to.

The funniest moment was when my son was so panicked that he said,"I didn't even get married yet!".  He is only 6.  While I smile at his words I realized he was so afraid this storm was going to be the end for us.

Time went on. The power flickered but we were lucky, we didn't lose it. The storm ended but my the kiddos were still a bit shaken so I let them have a sleepover on the floor of my son's room. Being together seemed to be enough. This morning, there were lots of questions about the storm and any damage. Both kids were concerned about their friends.

While I would have been happy to never have had this experience, I'm glad to see my children's compassion for others. I also realized how fear affects our little ones. I'm also glad we had a happy ending so the next storm shouldn't be an automatic trigger for panic. As grownups we experience all emotions. I think it is easy to forget that our children have those same emotions only they often don't know what to do with those emotions yet. Love those babies and give them extra hugs today. I know I will.

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