Talking to our kids about 9/11

You’re going to have to bear with me today; I don’t feel much like writing about cartoons.

My son lost his TV privileges on Friday. For a week. He’s none too thrilled about it, and the reasons why are a whole ‘nother issue for another day. If he shapes up, he’ll regain his viewing rights just in time for the Teen Titans and Avatar movies, next weekend.

But as the weekend went on, I kept seeing more and more items related to today’s anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and I found myself secretly grateful that I have a handy excuse to keep the set turned off.

I know my kids will be talking about this, some, in school. I know they’ll come home with furrowed brows and various questions, because I’ve seen it happen, other years. My kids are fairly little (and yes, I realize I’ll still be saying that until they hit high school) and I find this one of those heartaches of parenting: Having to talk to kids about stuff that tampers with their innocence.

There isn’t any good way to explain something like 9/11 to a small, trusting human who figures that the pinnacle of evil is calling someone a stupid poopyhead.

Myself, I stick to the general philosophy of following their lead, answering only what they ask, and not telling more than they need to know. But as they get older they are asking more and understanding more. It’s a difficult path to navigate, for sure.

The Young Heroes of History site has an excellent list of links to sites dealing with 9/11 from a teaching perspective. Be sure to browse through if you, like me, are feeling some trepidation about the conversations likely to happen at the dinner table tonight.

And be sure to hug your loved ones a little bit tighter, today.

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