Encourage your children to look for the helpers as you go through this debriefing process. Helpers always come. There are always people who step forth to help. In the case of a major tragedy, there will be many helpers playing out a variety of roles. Point them out to your children. Then, when small problems occur in their own lives, they will have learned to look for the helpers. There are helpers at school, on the playground, in the mall, and on the highway when our car breaks down. Learn to look for helpers and they will be more likely to show up when you need them.
Discuss with your children how you as a family can be helpers during this tragedy. Perhaps you can send money, give blood, say prayers, send love, or call the Red Cross to see what kinds of items you can donate. Choose one or more ways to be helpers as a family and allow your children to participate in implementing those choices with you.
The scope and depth of the pain and heartache of catastrophic tragedies are not measurable. Yet, those horrific events can serve a useful purpose if we use them to help our children learn about feelings, look for the helpers, and appreciate the connectedness of all human beings and the beauty of one heart reaching out to another across continents. We can help them learn that around the world is a long way away, yet still very much a part of our neighborhood.
Copyright © Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.