How to Talk to Children About 9/11
The anniversary of 9/11 is always a painful one but there is also the desire to honor the dead, the families who bore the burden of the attack, and the things we stand for as a nation. We celebrate resilience and renewal even as we vow not to forget. For many younger children, 9/11 isn’t something they lived through, but a piece of history, something they learn about in school.
Here are some guidelines for talking to kids about 9/11.
- Take your cues from your child—each child, individually, if you have more than one. For those old enough to remember the events of 9/11, let them tell you what the anniversary means to them, what they remember, and how they feel about it.
- Be age appropriate. If a child is too young to remember 9/11, consider their age in deciding whether this is a good time for her to learn about it, or learn more about it.
- Don’t answer questions that aren’t asked. Children as young as first grade are learning about 9/11 in school, as an important part of our history. But there’s no reason to volunteer disturbing or frightening details unless a child has heard them and needs a reality check from you.
- Try to avoid exposing children to the intrusive, repetitive TV news coverage, especially the pictures of 9/11.
- Help them feel safe. They want to know “are we safe today?”
- Focus on resilience. If you go to a memorial, talk to kids in advance about why you’re going, focusing on honoring those who died, and celebrating the resilience of both the nation and the individual families who lost loved ones.
- Don’t focus on hatred.
- Don’t feel you have only one chance to talk about this. It’s better to think of tough issues as an ongoing conversation, which develops as kids grow and change. If you feel you haven’t gotten it right the first time, give yourself a break and try again later.
Watch Over It, Protect It, Lead it, Guide It, Sanctify It.
Men are kind of like birds…
- Some are like canaries, they sit around singing (talking) all day about what they’re fixing to do but the truth is they aren’t going to do anything but stay in the same cage as they always have.
- Then you have buzzards, they sit around squawking (complaining) all day. Nothing is ever right. They are simply feasting off the hard work of others.
- Then you have peacocks, they just want to look good, it is all about them. They are ego-maniacs.
- Then you have Eagles, you cannot cage them, they soar above the rest, they are not influenced by the world, they do not strut around trying to impress others by fluffing feathers… they know who they are & if you do not, you soon will.
- They lead by example to all others. What kind of bird are you?
They are now making square watermelons… They do this so that they can fit in the refrigerator. The way they do it is by growing them in environments that is not natural to them. As fathers, we must provide the same things for our children. We must provide an environment & show the example of what a man looks like that is willing to sacrifice & give all he has in order to shape their lives in a manner that will glorify Christ.
- It’s okay to not be perfect
- Spend time with your kids it won’t be perfect like you pictured BUT it is worth it
- Pray about your words and actions you are training them in the moment and for their adult life
- Make your child comfortable talking to you about the little things and they will trust you with the big things later
- Manage your priorities and allow time to focus on your kids – you only have a short time to train them
Original story by popular blogger Tracey Eyster – translated by KSWP/KAVX listener