What’s the difference between a crisis and an emergency?
Recently my son just had his first child and my sixth grandchild. In true fatherly fashion I decided it was time to impart some wisdom. Mark Twain said life can only be understood backwards but unfortunately it must be lived forwards. One of the principles of parenting that I developed and found priceless is to know the difference between a crisis and an emergency.
You see, to a child, everything is a crisis. As a baby they want food and want it now. As a teen they want what all the other teens want. As a young adult they want your money. To a child, everything is a crisis or a big deal. When you look at time through the eyes of a child it actually makes some sense. To a ten year old one year of their life is 1/10 of their existence. To their 30 or 40 year old mom and dad a year is only 1/30 or 1/40, quite a bit shorter in perspective. That is why in relationship a year, a week, or a day seems so long to a child and so short to their parents.
Since everything is a crisis to a child they want everything now or their world or happiness as they know it will cease to exist. As the parent we are responsible for their happiness in their mind and solving their crisis will allow them to be happy. No matter what it does to us.
As I sat with my son in the backyard and talked about his upcoming transition into the responsibility of fatherhood I shared with him this simple but powerful piece of advice: know the difference between a crisis and an emergency.
The difference? Blood. No blood, no emergency just a crisis. Blood=emergency, drop everything and get them to the hospital or doctor or clinic (assuming it is bad enough). Everything else is just a crisis. Don’t make their crisis your crisis. Give yourself time to think and pray. Manage the crisis as God works in your heart, mind, and life, unless there is blood.
If you ask my son today what is the difference between a crisis and an emergency he will say Blood!