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MagmaFlow

Explaining 9/11 to a child.

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So I'm kind of borrowing this topic from some posts I've read on Facebook, but I'll give credit to where I saw it. Ashe had a post that got me thinking...

 

How do you explain 9/11 to a child...especially little ones? My children haven't really asked anything about it because we usually don't turn the TV on, but I think it's significant enough to talk about. I'm not sure how I would actually go about this since when asked the question I kind of have to think about what my kids can comprehend and what I think about the whole thing.

 

It's a tough question for me. I've seen people say that they've told their kids that bad guys did bad things.

 

Anyone else want to weigh in with this? What have you told or would you tell your children about this?

 

 

PS - This isn't trying to start a political debate and please do not make it so.

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I never thought much about it. It was before my kids were born, and I'm sure it will come up some day. Other than time between incidents, I don't know that it's much different than my parents trying to explain Viet Nam or Pearl Harbor to me, which they didn't.

 

So yeah, they should and will know eventually, but I don't know that it warrants a sit down with them or anything. My kids are pretty young though...

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I think it would depend on the age but for my son, 7 and hasn't asked about it, it would have to be similar to bad people did bad things but maybe with a little more to it along with pointing out that while people can differ from each other and not get along we all put aside our differences standing united behind our country when attacked. That's just from a few minutes thinking. I really don't know what I'd say though if he did ask me.

 

Just asked my daughter about it. She was 5 at the time and all she really remembers is it was a horrible thing that happened. She was reading something about the memorial recently and told me that they're building bronze statues for those that died that day with heating elements inside so they'll always be warm to the touch. Some type of huge waterfall will be around the building footprints with all the statues place together based on relationship rather than a simple alphabetical order, co-workers, friends, etc. Sounded really cool.

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It's funny, my son was 4 turning 5 when it happened. My ex and I made a point of not talking about it with him (we did with his older brother who was 8) and thought that if we don't talk about it then it wont be an issue. I then took him to the Lindt Chocolate factory in our home town to pick up a treat for his birthday. Well one of the things they offered was a Chocolate passport, every time you come in you get a stamp on the passport and earn enough stamps you get a free chocolate. The girl behind the desk stamped his passport and handed to him and he looked at it and gave it right back and said he didn't want it. I was dumb founded, just a second ago he was all excited about the idea (anything with the word free in a chocolate shop will send a 4/5 year old over the edge). I was like it was ok, and the girl was telling him as well, it's all his its ok but he said no, he didn't want it. I told him that I would take it and hold it for him and he said no and started to cry, I was like "WTF??" and asked him what was wrong and he burst out with he didn't want it because he didn't want to fly into a building. I looked at the passport card and it was made to look like an international passport with pictures of places with a picture of a passenger jet plane on the top. He thought that with this card he would have to fly on a plane and it might hit a building like he had been witnessing over and over on the TV. When the girl realized the reason why she looked horrified , like she was the worse person in the world for subjecting my child to that. While she was then giving Shane all the chocolate he could carry out of guilt (who am I to object to a little guilt and free lindt chocolate) she said she gives out dozens of those passports a day and Shane was the first to make that connection like that.

 

Even though we thought it was best not to talk to him about it, he was still part of the daily environment that was bombarding us with the stories associated with 9/11. With social media, 24 hour news, monster TV screens and computers, kids now a days have a hard time not hearing or learning about something we may not think they are ready for. I wish I would have talked to Shane to see what he thought the story was about, instead of him having to think if only for a brief moment that he might have to fly into a building like he had seen on TV.

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My daughter asked and told them something to the effect of some bad people hijacked a plane and flew it into the buildings.  Lots of people died and it was very sad.  Then I made it sound like it as no big deal yet a big deal at the same time.  How sad blah blah blah, lets go play xbox.

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Sorry, just felt the need to interject something here. You explain it like you would anything else, you tell them the TRUTH! Answer any questions they may have as honestly as you can, they may not completely understand but it will be enough. Your children will appreciate it later in life that you were truthful with them. And never sugar coat the facts. I have always been honest with my kids and grandkids no matter what the situation was, they understand a lot more than we give 'em credit for!

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I mentioned it to my kids, because I didn't know if they would talk about it at school. I told them a very very very brief idea of what the bad guys have done, and they didn't ask any questions, so I didn't give them any more details. In a couple of years, when they might be more interested, I'll share more with them.

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