On Friday, it hit me that I have to actually tell my own children this horrible story that our country lived through ten years ago. Reminded by a random post on Facebook, I became glued to the internet, reading article after article, watching video I haven’t watched in 9 years, and seeing so much more that I never saw then. (Wisely, I stopped watching all news after about two or three days.) But having to tell my kids, that was the worst thought in the world to me.
But I didn’t want my children to hear anything that didn’t come from me first either. My oldest has such high anxiety (and she does NOT need to be scared to fly on airplanes in our lifestyle). So, Friday night I just told her the story that one day a very bad thing happened by some very bad, evil men, but not to worry because we “got them all” and they will never be able to hurt anyone ever again. That she might see people cry and be sad, but it’s just because they are sad and remembering those they miss. When my oldest asked me why, I basically told her that because our country has freedoms that the evil men didn’t like.
I really tried to focus on the “good” that came out of that horrible day, on the people who go to work each day trying to protect our country (military) and teach others about our country (diplomats), so they will understand us and our freedoms. And I really put emphasis on the fact that God is with us all the time, even when horrible things happen.
She was perfectly fine with that, but I dread the rest of Sunday. Church, memorial service, people talking, all of that. I’m sure it will be brought up again and again. I’m trying to avoid saying the word Afghanistan in front of her because she knows her Daddy is over there.
And honestly, I do, to the very core of me, believe it is vital to tell our children about 9/11. It’s just that I’ve never before had to consider the how.
If the how is something that you have been struggling with as well, perhaps some of these links I’ve found will be helpful.
This Nick News segment is very accurate, with minimal graphic-ness. Focuses on making sure kids know the truth and facts, not the horror.
This Huffington post article discusses teaching your child about dealing with emotions like sadness and grief and learning to cope.
This is a blog posting by another homeschooling mom that gave me a lot of ideas and resources. Great for small children.
Children of September 11– “To provide relevant resources, information, and advocacy for parents, caregivers and other professionals supporting children affected by trauma.”
Nickelodeon gives more advice here about talking to your children.
Young Heroes of history offers a full list of useful links.
Education World – Lesson Plans and Resources
Classbrain.com – another resource
And for anyone who wants to read my own 9/11 story, please feel free to check our family website.