Would you write an emergency letter for your child to read as a comfort in the event of disaster?
In California more and more schools are asking parents to send in a "natural disaster," or "emergency," letter with the children. The idea behind it is that your child would be able to open and read the contents of the letter if a natural disaster occurred while they were at school and they are unable to be with you during the crisis. Does this cause more worry then comfort? Would you do it?
I could see it causing more worry up front. But I'd hate to have my child be the one kid in the room without a letter to read. And as a teacher/child care provider I would hate to have to explain to a child, why they're the only one without a letter from Mommy and/or Daddy.
That is a valid consideration. Kids are so easily confused and their feelings are so vulnerable, that getting their own letter, in itself, is a factor of reassurance, as well as what it says.
I realize this is a totally different scenario. But many times I've been the only kid in the room that didn't receive a Valentine, only girl, shortest, youngest... Very important early lessons for kids: peer pressure and "fitting in" are no big deal.
I'm sure it'd much depend on tone & contents put into it. It could be informative, equipping the child to know what to do & encouraging, assuring him of his own ability to act sensibly. Mostly, it could be quite comforting, reminding him of strong conviction that it will be all right and, in any case, that he's safe always in your love no matter what happens. If lessons have been taught him that things are in constant change & that's what life is, it shouldn't cause excessive worry & would give more personal help & comfort than anything available by on-hand supervisors with their hands full with so many others.
My kids are all grown, so I didn't know schools were doing this. I think it is a great idea. When my kids were in school, I wrote notes for them and put them here and there - lunch boxes, books, binder - discreetly, so the other kids would not be able to see and tease them. As they grew older, they felt a little more confident and started sharing the notes.
It is comforting to be able to read something from parents in the event of a disaster. I'm glad this is something important to schools now.
I wouldn't do it. I think it probably causes more worry than comfort. Especially since the parent wouldn't know which side the disaster were on--theirs or their child's. I think it's probably best to show and tell your child on a regular basis how you feel and tell them they are strong and getting stronger each day and can handle anything life throws at them and giving them the skills to do so. I made it through many such disasters thanks to my parents doing that with me and my sister. A letter such as you describe would be like a generic Hallmark insult if I received one since it goes against everything my parents taught me.
Instead of writing a comforting letter, maybe I ll prepare like an index card with steps to take and important information. Also Ill make sure to tall him/her to pay attention of directions given at school.
I would take my child and move out of California! I never heard of such a thing. You would never see me set foot in California, so what benefit could be worth the fear you live in? Yes, disaster can strike anywhere but for our children's sake we could live in safer places. But as so many are determined to live near earthquakes and lava, the border, etc. then yes write your children a letter and tell them to get out of town!
LOL that is funny! I enjoyed your comment.
Did you also rule out - the midwest (tornado alley), a large city (more crime), the other border states, the Washington DC metro area (higher risk for terrorist attacks) and the southern Atlantic coast (hurricane risk zone)?
Not sure in what context this is meant. If it is an emergency such as: "meet us at the old red barn no matter how you get there" OR "don't let Uncle George pick you up and the password BTW is, 'Remember'" well, then by all means, yes. In fact, those things should be a part of a child's 'emergency' family plan anyway.
If it is a 'Dear John or Jane, in the event we get separated and may never see each other again just know I love you..." then, I would probably think that it is a bit morbid.
If I cannot tell my child each day that he/she is loved and that they are important to me no matter what...well, a letter won't do the trick.
I am really glad my child is grown and gone. He was moved out of California by his mother when he was 12. Other than the fact he was totally unprepared for life where he moved, I applauded his mothers leaving. For the most part when I was working I was at least 100 miles from where my son went to school. His mother was around 50 miles away five days a week.
You need to search your feelings. How would you have felt to receive the letter if there had been a natural disaster when you were a child? Do you know your children well enough to decide how they would feel?
The truth is most of what each person does for themselves and their children is based on personal feelings and beliefs. Sorry to say in the end the decision you make will be totally up to you.
well I already did write a letter to my daughter in the event (god forbid) of something happening to me!
I would never have thought of this but I think it is absolutely a great idea. It would have to be carefully worded and very age appropriate. I hope the schools are providing some examples of what to say so as not to cause worry. But, think about it, everything is in turmoil and your child cannot get to you they are worried and probably frantic....having something that tells them how much you love them and giving them permission to stay calm until the crisis has passed and everyone will be together again. And, God forbid, if some tragedy really did happen they would always have that "love letter" as a touchstone . I can see great benefit....but again, it would have to be carefully worded.
I would be reluctant to have this on file with a school. They should put more effort into keeping the kids safe or ensuring that parents have multiple points of contact in their records.
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