A few months ago, I wrote an article for Mom Center Philippines on how to explain difficult topics to children. The typhoon that ripped through Tacloban, Leyte last week and the deaths and chaos that resulted from it certainly fall under the category “difficult.”
Children are very observant and can hear the adults in the family talking about the tragedy, or they probably get a glimpse of the news on TV, or even read the newspapers and see pictures there. If you haven’t really sat down with your kids and talked about Yolanda and Tacloban, now is the right time to do so. As I wrote in my article, make sure to choose the best setting to talk, explain facts, acknowledge your child’s feelings, and reassure her that you are listening to her. The next step is to take action and actually do something to help.
The tragedy has deeply affected all Filipinos. Many of us know someone, or who is related to someone affected by the typhoon. For one week now, that’s all we’ve been talking about. And rightly so. Since last week, I have not had the heart to be active on social media with my usual updates on early childhood development, reading, and homeschooling. Everything else just doesn’t seem to matter much in light of what happened in Leyte.
Though The Learning Basket girls (as I like to call myself and my book shop partner Sanne) have been quiet online for some time, we have been working quietly, in our own way, for the benefit of the typhoon victims, with our own kids. We have been teaching them to help in their own little way.
For this Fun Friday edition, here are five ideas for you to consider doing with your kids this weekend.
Have a newspaper drive
Sanne wrote a short letter asking for newspapers for her 3-year-old to bring house to house in their small village. This is very easy to do, especially if you’re living in a condominium. After collecting newspapers, head out to a junk shop with your child and sell the newspapers. Make sure to involve your child when you donate the proceeds.
Let your child help pack goods
If you are involved in collecting relief goods, ask your child to help pack the items. Little kids love to help. They can sort items and put them in bags too.
Make baked goods or craft products for sale
We love to bake around here, and my kids had a blast selling what they made. This time around, we’re baking and selling for a cause. You can easily do it too. Make old favorite recipes, and sell to your relatives or around your neighborhood.
Ask your child for a donation
I just read a heartwarming story about a preschooler in Japan who brought his piggy bank to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo for the victims of the typhoon. Maybe instead of asking your child directly for his piggy bank, you can ask him what he can give to the victims, and see what he comes up with.
Hold a garage sale
It’s in the news that what typhoon victims really need are food, water, and medicine. Instead of just shipping off unwanted clothes and things to the provinces, hold a garage sale and donate the money to Philippine Red Cross. Your kids can help in sorting and selling.
No matter how little your kid makes in his efforts, remember that the goal is to develop empathy with corresponding action. The best way we can teach our kids to help is to actually help.