Talking with your Children about 9/11

Recently, we took our kids to New York to see the Statue of Liberty. It was a  perfect opportunity for me to explain to my kids the events of this day. It was a learning experience – even for me. To stand looking out at the New York skyline; a very surreal moment. I try to take every opportunity I get to talk with my children about real life. But this is one topic where the words are hard.

9/11. A day that changed our history. We all know what we were doing during that moment when the first building collapsed, but our children do not. Most of our children were too young to remember, or not born yet.

This year marks 10 years since 9/11/2001. It is in the media, papers, and schools are talking about it. How are you discussing it with your kids?

Be Brief. There is no need in going into too many details. Too much information may lead to more questions from your child. Getting into too many details may frighten your child.

Monitor the Media. Many of the shows and documentations of 9/11, while true, show emotional -wrenching details of the day. These may be too graphic for your child.

Be Truthful. Give them the facts. Explain to children about different cultures, how one person may believe in different views and what an extremist is. We want them to understand. We want to be honest. The facts are that we were attacked on that day. Reassure them that our country has changed, and is working to prevent this from happening again.

Teach them to love. We need to teach our children to love, and not hate.

Remember. Remember the thousands of people who lost their lives. Remember their families. Remember that our country is strong, and we prevail. Remember that was one of the first days that everyone in this great nation pulled together, and showed great signs of patriotism.

Nick News has a great school aged appropriate film, “What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001″ if you are looking for something for you and your child to watch together.

How do you, or how have you talked with your child about this day?