On Monday, between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m., the moon will partially obscure the sun. It can be a pretty scary time for young children who don’t understand the science behind the phenomenon.
So leave science out of it.
Here’s how not to talk your kids about the eclipse, in easy-to-follow question-and-answer form:
What is an eclipse?
“It’s when the moon gets in the way of the sunshine. But then the sun gets even hotter and starts burning the moon until the moon gets out of the way. We only have to worry if the moon gets too hot and blows up. That’s when moon chunks could fall from the sky and hit us.”
Can I look at the sun to see what’s happening?
“Not a good idea. You can develop eye worms, which come down from the sun during an eclipse. And if you get eye worms, the only cure is a shot every day for a month.”
Will anything happen when the sun starts to go away?
“Not really. Except for vampires coming out. The good news is that in Phoenix, only about two-thirds of the sun will be covered, so we’ll only get two-thirds the vampires of places where the entire sun disappears.”
Billy says an eclipse is a sign of the end of the world. Is he right?
“He could be. So far there are been a lot of eclipses, and during any one of them, zombies could have risen to take over the world. But that still hasn’t happened. Maybe it won’t this time. But to be on the safe side, is Billy’s dad a good shot? Because we’re going to need people like that.”
Our teacher said we can’t go outside during the eclipse. Why?
“Do you really need more reasons than moon chunks, eye worms, vampires and zombies? How about, ‘Because I said so?’”