My son is ten years old. He was born six years after 9/11. Up until he was almost nine I avoided any mention of the terrorist attacks near him. I thought I had all the time in the world until burdening him with grown up issues. I was wrong. One night he came into the living room wide-eyed and upset. “In ancient times New York City was attacked by bad guys who flew planes into our buildings and killed everyone. I’m glad we were not here then!” I asked him where he had heard this and he said he was reading the “Who is Derek Jeter?” book by Gail Herman. The attacks are mentioned in reference to the Derek Jeter and his teammates generosity to children who lost their parents. I had some explaining to do.
We had a long conversation. I explained that Mom and Dad were living right here in Manhattan at the time and like everyone else in the country, we were very scared. A year has passed and I am still being questioned as to why there are bad people in the world who would want to hurt everyone. The topic is hard to grasp for anyone, yet alone a young and innocent mind. Our initial conversation was very generic but afterwards I immediately started to search online for ways to talk to children about 9/11. I knew that the questions were going to keep coming in greater detail.
The five resources below can help you decide how best to talk to your children about 9/11:
It has been 16 years and I still get upset thinking about the terrible events of 9/11. I am sure you do as well. I hope that these resources help you navigate through one of the toughest conversations you will likely have with your child.