The Gray Line Tour

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 9, 2001


What to do when rain falls for days All right, it’s raining. It’s been raining since Tuesday and will likely continue into the middle of next week, with more and more and still more rain. So what do you do with the children? It’s not recommended you allow them to play outdoors in the rain and puddles and high water in the vacant lots and streets. For one thing, with all the stormwaters, the swamp critters are invading the residential areas. You don’t want to imagine Little Johnny or Little Marie anywhere near some six-foot alligator or water moccasin or near a floating pile of fire ants. Besides that, there’s all kinds of illnesses children are especially prey to from storm waters, so please keep your children in and dry. So, What do you do with the ch ildren? There’s a lot of stuff to do, as a matter of fact. After all, we’ve just been scraped by a tropical storm, so it’s a good time to review the emergency procedures every family should have. Check your batteries, bottled water and prescription medicine. And with the children, make sure they know to stick close, in case of an evacuation order. But let’s get back to the question – you’re stuck indoors. What do you do with the children? Dig around in your closet and resurrect those old board games you haven’t seen in 10 or 20 years. Teach your kids to play dominos or Trivial Pursuit or Battleship or Monopoly. Stock up on some good books. Read to your children. Share with them a love of the written word. Get them to make sure their rooms are clean and that they’ve packed an overnight bag, again in case of an evacution order. Draw with them. Talk with the children about their own concerns and fears. You may have lived through Hurricane Andrew but a lot of children have not and cannot truly understand what is going on. Explain it to them in ways they will understand. Teach them how to listen for a tornado and show them the Weather Channel. While you may be otherwise occupied, they can watch the updates for you. Help them get caught up on homework and think of craft ideas to occupy their hands and minds. Encourage them to write down their own perceptions of the storm event. One day, these memories could be shared with their own children. And encourage them to take a good, long nap to help them become well-rested. A tired child is often a cranky child, which directly leads to a cranky parent. There’s plenty to do with a restive child during long periods of confinement, such as with a storm. Take advantage of these opportunities to get closer to them and build more positive memories. LEONARD GRAY is assistant managing editor for L’Observateur.