When the photo of the seagull covered in oil surfaced on every major newspaper and news program a few weeks ago, my daughter began asking questions. “What is that on the bird, mommy? Is the bird dead?”
I hadn’t thought of even discussing the BP oil spill with her. At six years old, she tends to worry about everything and I didn’t want to little head to be consumed with thoughts about the spill. But the more and more the story grew and grew and we learned about the magnificent proportions in which we are all being affected, I could no longer withhold the information from her. I let her sit with me as we watched coverage of the oil spill together and she asked me questions, which I tried my best to answer. I felt that sharing information this way was the best way to handle her curiosity regarding this situation.
This BP oil spill is a major problem. It is doing damage to the gulf waters, animals and others living in the area, and it is causing great devastation to the economy and livelihood to an already battered Louisiana gulf coast (and now the Florida gulf coast as well). Not only have my daughter and my son watched news coverage of the oil spill, but we also discussed how the spill began and the attempts that have failed to stop the oil spillage.
My son asked me just yesterday is BP was going to go out of business and I promptly told him that I doubt that they would, since they have a lot of money at their disposal. Unless we all boycotted BP and their subsidiaries totally, I am sure that they will continue to exist.
So how do we talk to our kids about the BP oil spill? I think that we first must know the facts ourselves before spreading the information to our kids. Secondly, I believe we must discuss this as a family, using solid information via the Internet and news sources and not rumor and innuendo. In talking to your kids, you can also discuss ways to help stop the spill. You never know, an idea could really spark a vehicle to stop the spill.
Not talking about the oil spill with your kids could lead to them not knowing the full story or true ramifications of what is happening in the gulf and the waters.
Have you talked to your kids about the BP oil spill?
Photo courtesy of Seattle Times