How to explain 9/11 to my kids?
Yesterday, a friend and I took our kids out for lunch (4 kids combined). The restaurant we chose had lots of pictures of anything you can imagine all over the place. One picture over our table was a small picture of the Twin Towers. My son looked at the picture and then asked, "what is that?". This innocent question caught me off guard. And then my mind started spinning with how to answer him.
As the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 is very quickly approaching, I figured he would hearing bits and pieces but I wanted to give him an explanation that he heard from me. Now, what to tell him and the three younger kids with us as well?
I simply stated that some very bad men flew two planes into our buildings on purpose. A lot of people died that day. It was very scary and very sad. I also explained that the anniversary of this tragedy is coming up in a few days. I waited to see if he had any other questions. None of the children asked any more on the issue.
I've read many times that when talking to children, we need to keep it simple. The idea is that a child accepts a simple answer. As adults we tend to over think and over explain things. They don't need a lot of detail to be satisfied with our answers. If your simple answer isn't enough for your kiddo, they will ask more questions. This was the first time I saw this to be true for myself. I was satisfied with my response and felt like I handled this unp;anned explanation well.
When I our Daddy got home that night, my son turned to Andy and said, "do you know what happens in three days?". Andy and I looked at each other and shrugged. Then we were informed that it is the anniversary of 9/11. Kids may be small, but they are listening to what we tell them. It is important that they know there is good and bad in this world. As a mommy, I want to hide the bad from my children. I don't want them I live in fear but they have to be aware. Simple answers...I wasn't exactly prepared for this talk but it seemed to work out well for the audience involved.
How have you shared the awful truths about 9/11 with the kid in your life?
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By April Byrd