It's a Mom Thing Reviews & More!: Talking to Your Child About September 11th


Talking to Your Child About September 11th

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As an adult looking back on my childhood there are many days that I do not remember at all and then there are days that I remember so vividly they feel like they happened yesterday. September 11, 2001 is one of the days that I could never forget. Living just across the Hudson river from NYC those tall twin towers were the scene that always made you realize just how close you are to the greatest city in the world. I will never forget the heartbreak that we all felt that day or the camaraderie that we experienced afterwards.  

I never really thought about talking to my daughter about September 11th, after all how do you explain such tragedy to a child? We had been to New York City countless times and I wasn't sure how to explain it all to her without making her concerned or scared. Last year when she started kindergarten she came home on September 10th asking about why she needed to wear red, white, and blue on the following day. That is when I knew that it was time for us to truly talk about the events that happened on September 11, 2001. It was a very difficult conversation but was much easier than I had expected. 

I wanted to share with you some of the tips that I received about talking to children about 9/11 and some of the things that made the conversation I had with my daughter easier. 

Be age appropriate: Decide when you are ready to teach your child about the events of 9/11. Depending on your child's age limit the details, graphics, videos, etc. You can continue to talk to them about the events and give them more details as they continue to understand and learn about it.

Answers questions. Use facts rather than opinions: Find out what you child knows about 9/11. They may have discussed it in school or learned about it elsewhere. It is important to know what your child knows before you start your conversation. Allow your child to ask questions and answer them in a way that is appropriate for their age. Do not get too into details, instead focus on giving basic facts and information. 

Don't focus on hatred, instead focus on memorializing: Many children may feel angry after learning why the events of 9/11 transpired. Do not focus on the reasons why 9/11 happened, focus more on honoring the lives lost, the survivors, and the responders. Do not focus on the terrorism.

Discuss their feelings: After explaining the events of 9/11 in an age appropriate way ask them how they feel and allow them to discuss with you any emotions or concerns. Assure them that any emotions that they may have are completely okay and make sure that they know that if they want to talk about their feelings you are there for them. 

Assure children that we are safe: After discussing the events on 9/11 many children may not feel as though we are safe. Inform them that since 9/11 many buildings and airports are safer and have tighter security. 

Discuss the time after: Emphasize that while 9/11 showed us the worst in people it was also a time that our country united and came together. Talk about the heroes, the compassion, and the kindness. Talk to your children about how this horrific event brought together family, friends, and strangers, and made us remember how wonderful our nation is.

I hope that this list helps you a bit when talking to 
your children about September 11th. 

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