If you're feeling at a loss how to talk to your kids about the current supply shortages, know that you aren't alone. Here's how I talked about the shortages with my kids.
All across the country, I know other mothers are having similar conversations with their children right now.
We're running out of bananas, and rationing the flour. We're also being good about social distancing, which means we're not making any trips to the store until the next appointed grocery shopping day. There's food in the house, and we've got a meal plan, so as moms - we know it's going to be fine.
But for our kids, this probably doesn't feel like usual. Chances are, at least some of your regular eating habits will have changed, based on a lack of supplies at the store. Especially depending on a child's personality and temperament, those adjustments may make for some anxiety, especially if they don't understand what's going on.
You may have already had this conversation with your kids, but in case it helps, I thought I'd share the way I ended up talking with my young children about the current food situation today.
If I have any advice for talking to kids about food supply shortages, it's this:
- Keep it short and focused
- Be reassuring (we have plenty of food, and things will go back to normal)
- Give kids a chance to ask questions
- Find a bright side (trying new foods, cooking together from scratch...)
Here's how I worded it, when I talked to my kids about the supply shortages:
You know how we've been talking about the big sickness that's going around our country right now? Well, because everyone needs to stay home, and not go to the store as frequently, people are stocking up on all the foods and supplies they think they might need to last a long time. Because people are buying more than usual, stores are running out of certain supplies. More supplies will keep coming in, but it can make it tricky for Moms to find all of the usual foods we buy each week!
We have plenty of good food in our house, and we're going to keep eating really well. But it does mean that we don't have some of the foods we usually enjoy, and there are also some foods that we have a little but not a lot of.
We may run out of a few foods we enjoy before our next shopping day, but we won't go to the store until it's time. To help our country get past this sickness, it's important for everyone to stay home as much as possible for now, so we'll do a grocery trip just once every two weeks.
This is an unusual situation for our family, and for our country, but we're going to get through this together! One way that we can really help do that, is by being good eaters at each meal that we make. You may have noticed the last few days that instead of giving you seconds on yogurt with frozen berries, I offer you your leftover lunch if you're still hungry.
There are going to be some fun parts of all this too! Since Daddy's working from home now, we're all together in time to really have fun making dinner as a family. We can get out the cookbooks, and find some delicious looking recipes to make with all the good ingredients that we do have. And I'd love to have you help me make our next grocery list, when the time comes.
There was a lot of quiet nodding, and some "yes Mamas" when I talked about being good eaters at meal times. "Do you have any questions?" I asked...
They had only one. My 6 year old asked, "Can we pray, Mama?"
"What a good idea, Sweetie. Go for it!" This was her prayer:
"Dear Jesus, Please help us to stay well, and for all of the people around our country to get better and be well. And thank you for the food that we have, and for each other, and all of the ways you take care of us. Amen"
From your lips, to God's ears, my little one. And amen.
Please join the conversation! How are you talking to your little ones about the current situation? We'd love to hear your ideas, tips, and suggestions in the comments!