Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Children Can Handle It

I recently ran across this wonderful story of heroism involving the actions of an eight year old boy. It's actually not all that uncommon to see stories of young children behaving heroically—I suspect that you can come up with several examples just within that last week or so.

So what struck me about this particular story? Well, it is amazing to think about an eight year old minimizing the damage caused by his mother having a seizure on a four-lane highway through his own driving skills. But for me, the icing on the cake is this quote:
Prokos thinks her story provides a powerful message for other parents. A week earlier, she had experienced a seizure for the first time at her home, which her children had witnessed. Though she didn't yet have a diagnosis, Prokos made a point of speaking to Nicholas and his 14- and 17-year-old sisters about what had happened, and instructed them on what they should do in the event a seizure reoccurred. One of the scenarios they discussed was what to do if they were in the car at the time, and she recalls gratefully that Nicholas executed their instructions perfectly.

She urges parents to speak openly with their kids, prepare them for emergencies and teach them how to remain calm in the face of danger.

"My son saved my life, and he wouldn't have been able to do that if I had not been upfront and honest with him," she explains. "Children need to understand the reality of things, and should know that if a situation should occur, they need to be prepared to do a, b and c."

Our every instinct is to protect our children from the world. But sometimes the best way to do that is to give them the information they need—even if that information might be considered scary. Children can handle it.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh


Mama B said...

It is very true that children can handle it. I had to have insulin injections for a bit because of some problems, and I allowed Samuel to watch me and even taught him how to. I also was very clear with him on what to do if I ever went into insulin shock. He was only FIVE at the time and he understood. That mom's foresight and willingness to trust her children with essential information is what essentially saved her life. Not to mention that her child thought quickly on his feet and apparently has some serious driving skills! :)

Rev. Josh said...

While young brains are certainly not fully developed--in fact our brains aren't even _mostly_ developed until we're in our mid twenties and new studies have shown that brains never stop developing--young children can do very concrete thinking. While it may seem complex to say "If I go into anaphylactic shock, take my Epi-Pen, remove the cap, and jam it into my thigh." it's all concrete. If x do y then z. Children are fully capable of that kind of thing!