Tragedy in Haiti serves as reminder to dads

“Calling the death toll ‘unimaginable’ as he surveyed the wreckage, Haiti’s president, René Préval, said he had no idea where he would sleep. Schools, hospitals and a prison collapsed. And the poor who define this nation squatted in the streets, some hurt and bloody, many more without food and water, close to piles of covered corpses and rubble ... as Haiti struggled to grasp the unknown toll from its worst earthquake in more than 200 years.”

— The New York Times

During horrible tragedies like this, fathers play a big part in comforting and educating their kids and in shaping their coping styles and reactions to future tragedies and crises they’ll face throughout their lives.

Action ideas

• Consider talking to your kids about this tragedy in age-appropriate ways. When I talked to my kids last week, my pre-teen was shocked to hear about the number of poor people in Haiti while my 7-year old was frightened about earthquakes. Needless to say, I had two very different conversations.

• Tragedies can serve as a time to remind ourselves and our kids of the importance of appreciating what we have. Consider talking to your kids about how blessed we are to live where we do yet how easy it is to take it for granted.

• The way in which we model compassion in times of crises and the actions we take will likely have the most impact on our kids. Consider including your kids in on selecting potential charities to support via sites like which rates those charities helping in Haiti.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.

For more information, or to join local conversations, contact

Mick Trombley at

David Eggebeen at

Robert Orndorff at

Marc McCann at 237-1719 or