Sunday, September 11, 2011

How to talk to kids about 9/11 #parents #kids #tcot #NeverForget #prolife

It's been ten years since the US was attacked by Saudi Arabian suicide bombers who hijacked two commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in NYC,and hijacked another plane which hit the Pentagon and a fourth plane, which was believed aimed at the Capitol building in DC or the White House, but instead was overpowered by alert&brave passengers who prevented the crash on DC. Thanks to those passengers  Flight 93 crashed in a field in Shanksville,PA. Thanks to the bravery of those passengers, lead by Todd Beamer,known for his heroic chant, "Let's Roll", and several others a fourth tragedy was prevented from taking more innocent lives on the ground than those on the plane.  Sadly, the loss of those 40 passengers was unavoidable, but it is immeasurable to know how many lives they saved.  In the end nearly 3,000 men,women,children and at least one unborn child were killed and became victims of one of the most horrific attacks on our country since Pearl Harbor.

In Rememberence of those who sacrificed their lives and those who lost lives and their families:
Sadly, since that time America  has been at war in the Middle East for the past ten years against the violent Islamist terrorists who despise our way of life,religion and freedoms. Many children  have no idea about what happened, like mine who were born several years after September 2001, and parents are left to the schools or the media exposure to explain what happened. So far my kids are young and carefree enough to not let it concern them or create fear in them, but one day they will probably want to know more and want to understand why it happened and whether we are safe. At that time,I will do my best to be honest with them and tell them that because there are bad people in the world bad things happen and that the brave men and women in our military are working to keep them safe and protect us from harm by attacking the enemies where they live and that is why we are in a war in the Middle East. Of course the depth I will get into this discussion with them will depend on their questions,level of interest and understanding and as this child psychologist says:  As kids see and hear accounts of the 9/11 attacks on the 10th anniversary, parents should encourage them to ask questions. The answers should be direct and simple, says child psychologist Richard Rende.

Parents should offer reassurance and protect children from details, both by keeping answers simple and by monitoring the media they are exposed to, adds Rende, an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University.
That means answering questions directly, without unnecessary detail, and monitoring their children’s media consumption in the days leading up to the anniversary [can help parents talk to their kids about 9/11].
 In addition....
  • Don’t wait for your kids to approach you; let them know the lines of conversation are open.
  • Set aside a time to do this when you won’t be quickly interrupted.
  • Answer simply and directly. Less is more. Be honest without being graphic.
  • Listen to children  and let their questions guide you. Don’t broach new subjects they haven’t asked about.
  • Be reassuring. Give them the confidence that they’re okay.
  • Monitor their exposure to media as best you can.
  • Be prepared for the conversation to continue after the anniversary.

How to talk to kids about 9-11 from Brown PAUR on Vimeo.

“The most important rule is to take any question very seriously and just deal with that question,” says Rende, who regularly blogs about research for “‘Less is more’ is a very good principle with kids. Let them direct you and don’t make assumptions about what they want to know. You can answer a question without going into detail,” he says. “You can try to be honest without being graphic.”

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As with any difficult or controversial topic,from abortion to terrorism,parents need to adjust their conversation on these topics to the emotional age and maturity of the child. Of course sheltering them and trying to hide the facts are not the way to deal with difficult topics;as parents we should always be honest and reassuring without being overly graphic or creating fear.  How do you deal with this topic with your children and at what age did you start discussing it?

©2008-2011 Patricia Garza

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