Friday, September 11, 2009

Talking with Kids about September 11

The day has arrived once again and I still consider this a day of remembrance even though it has officially been changed to a day of service. Children naturally have questions about anything that people are talking about and September 11 is a topic that occurred before many of our elementary students were old enough to remember, or in some cases even be born.

Start with where you are at today. Acknowledging your feelings and experiences are important. Some people still feel the direct impact of this anniversary; others feel a more distant relationship. All these feelings are legitimate; knowing where you stand on that scale can help you approach this topic with your children.
Your gut tells you where your children are at as well. Age appropriate conversations are the goal. Despite all the media intervention, most young children are not looking for all the details. They want to understand a topic from where their mental and emotional levels will allow them to grasp it. Parents have an instinct for understanding how much children need to know and how much more to teach them as they age.

Find resources to help you with talking to them where they are at so you can keep it age appropriate. Many books have been published in the years since 9/11. Check with your local library to find books to help you answer any questions your child may have. Also, be comfortable with teaching your child that not all questions have answers. We do not always know why. Preview any Internet sites that you might wish to visit with your children. Some are more appropriate than others are for child viewing. Be willing to help your child research questions that he/she would like more information about at the library or through those sites, you have previewed.

Picture Credit slagheap

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