Monday, June 16, 2008

Getting Real With My Kids- RLC Blog Buzz

One of the questions for Blog Buzz this week was - How do you explain extreme poverty to your kids? Give tips, ideas, or even tidbits of your own conversations with children!

I would say poverty and orphans and how we can make a difference is a consistent theme in our home. I am a bit weird I think. I just feel like kids are a bit underestimated. Sure they don't process information in the same way we do. That's what makes them so adorable and cool. However, they also get a lot more than we give them credit for getting. It is deeply important to me that my children do not grow up in the suburban bubble believing that simply being born has entitled them to something. So when they ask questions I am very honest. I am careful to always reassure my children that they are safe. They need to KNOW we are not in danger and nothing bad is happening to us. Then I honestly share with them what is happening to others in simple non gory ways. Our children are not side liners in our ministry. They are our team.
One nice benefit of adoption as that it has brought so much reality right into our home. I think that is why so many adoptive parents become such advocates to help fight poverty. It's no longer a problem that it is vaguely out there. It is something that was a part of OUR child's life. How can you not feel that and want to do something? Adoption has been an amazing blessing in educating our children in what is
going on in different parts of the world. Zoe of course has clear memories of a life where she lived in extreme poverty. Her heart bleeds for other children who face that. Kaitlyn has learned so much from Zoe.

My mission trips have also been very beneficial in bringing up issues. The girls want to know where I am going and why. It has encouraged them to learn and sacrifice and grow.

We think the best way we can talk to our children about poverty is by first modeling getting involved. It makes it natural and authentic. We will write about it, read about it, do fundraising with them, volunteer with them, watch some youtube videos with them, ask them to sacrifice a bit, help them learn.
Then we will hope and pray that they grow up to me more than just HERE living for themselves....that they grow up to make a difference.


elizabeth engelhardt creations said...

Thanks for this bit of info. I am learning to be honest with Perryn and Teagan about orphans, but was never sure how to go to the next step in talking about extreme poverty. I think I can do that now. Blessings.

kim p said...

I have a heart to make my kids aware and get them involved, too. When the cyclone hit Mynmar, we watch a video on World Vision's website, prayed for the victims, and my kids worked around the house to earn money to donate. I think video is a great tool to help them see the circumstances others are in, because they can't imagine it in the culture in which they're living. Do you have any links to good youtube videos you can share?

julie said...

I'll just add. . AMEN!


Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!