Disaster, compassion and our children
IMAGES of victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti were splashed over our newspapers and television. It is inevitable that our children see them too. Some images may be a bit too ‘dark’ and sad for our young ones.
What kind of impact will such information have on them? These images cause us to feel compassion and sadness, so what more will it do for a child that has more fragile emotions?
As a father, we can’t protect or prevent our children from watching these images on TV or the newspapers in this information age. But we can make sure that the experience will spur them to do the right thing and to act in compassion.
Opportunity to educate - talk to your child about Haiti
- About Haiti's poverty, it is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
- About their lack of a social safety net.
- That there is no fire department to call if your baby is stuck or trapped in the debris.
- That there is no ambulatory service to call if your wife is bleeding to death.
Then ask them what they think they can do for these people, giving them guidance to respond in compassion.
Action pointers for fathers
- Explain to your children why and how this disaster happens with scientific information that they can understand; this helps them to see it in a different perspective.
- Give them a clear and accurate account of what is happening, helping them to understand that disasters do happen to people sometimes.
- Discuss their feelings about it. Assess their state of emotion and look out for any form of anxiety and/or worries. Assure them of your protection.
- Guide them to offer assistance in a tangible way, like donating part of their savings or pocket money. You can top it up to a certain amount and make a contribution to the Red Cross for the Haiti Earthquake relief.
How we can help
1. Donations via cheque can be sent to the Singapore Red Cross @ 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486. Please include your name, contact details and “Earthquake Haiti” at the back of the cheque.
2. Donors may make their cash/cheque donations at the Singapore Red Cross @ 15 Penang Lane (near Dhoby Gaut MRT Station) during its office hours, from Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 9pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 1pm .
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