250km north of Tokyo the world was rocked! An 8.9 earthquake changed the axis of the world 10 diameters! The tsunami washed the shores of Fukushima where the largest nuclear reactor in the world are located.
How will you explain this natural disaster turned tragedy to your child? One thing that children love to talk about is pooping and farting. There are tons of books that are dedicated to bodily functions. The next time your child is with his/her friends listen in on what they are talking about. You will definitely hear a fascination with defecation that frankly we never get over. I mean, think about the tons of Hollywood films that use defecation as the punchline of their movie.
As a teacher at an international school, I will have to explain to my students what is a nuclear reactor and how it works? In order to help the children get an idea in a child friendly way, try using A Nuclear Reactor Explained by Poops and Farts: Nuclear Reactor Boy’s Tummy Ache to explain something that most adults didn’t understand and still don’t understand! I recommend using this video with your own children to help them understand what is going on. I have included a list of questions that can help navigate a discussion with your child.
A Nuclear Reactor Explained by Poops and Farts: Nuclear Reactor Boy’s Tummy Ache
Some follow-up questions:
Who is the story about? A: Nuclear Reactor Boy
Where did the story take place? You may want to explain in more detail where Fukushima is to Tokyo or your home city/country.
Did Nuclear Reactor Boy pooh or fart?
When you have a fever and your body is really hot what do I do to make you feel better?
This is a good way for your child to make a connection to their own illness and talk about how you help them feel better.
What was wrong with Nuclear Reactor Boy? A:He was really hot.
What did the doctor do to help Nuclear Reactor Boy? A:The doctor gave him medicine.
When you fart how long does it take for the smell to go away? A: A few minutes
How long does it take Nuclear Reactor Boy’s farts to go away? A:One week
For younger children I would probably stop here. They may not pay attention if you take to long.
These questions might work for older children:
What kind of medicine? A: seawater and Boron*
Who were Nuclear Reactor Boy’s other friends? A:Three Mile Island and Little Chernobyl
Can you smell Nuclear Reactor Boy’s poop far away? A:No, it’s not strong enough to travel that far.
What will be affected if Nuclear Reactor Boy poops? A:fish, vegetables, the people of Fukushima may have to relocate.
What can we do to conserve energy? A: Answers may vary
What can we do to help the people in Fukushima? A:Answers may vary
I hope these questions help you navigate this discussion with your students and/or children.
I am only including two places to donate to:
Second Harvest Japan has been an institution providing support and services since 2000. This is the key for me, “For every 1,000 yen donated, we deliver 10,000 yen worth of food to the needy.”
Second Harvest Japan
I am also a supporter of Save the Children! Why?
One reason or three reasons look at this pie chart from their website:
*Boran-is the chemical element with atomic number 5 and the chemical symbol B. Boron is a metalloid. A low-abundance element in both the solar system and the Earth’s crust, boron is concentrated on Earth by the water-solubility of its more common naturally-occurring compounds, the borate minerals. These are mined industrially as evaporate ores, such as borax and kernite. (Wikipedia)
This conversation will be ongoing for all of us in Japan. We will constantly be bombarded with questions about what we have experienced. By providing our children with the right tools to deal with this devastating crisis we will be giving them the strength and confidence.