Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Year Old's Take on 9/11

At our church today, we remember those who lost their lives in the attack on our country on September 11, 2001.  My daughter was only a few months old when the attacks happened, but she is ten now.  During the church service, when a picture of the skyline with the twin towers flashed up on the screen, I leaned over to tell her that on this day enemies of our country flew planes into those buildings and they fell down.  Then she made the connection that the event was like the game "Angry Birds."  Not getting upset about her sweet, innocent connection, I told her yes, except that those buildings were full of people and the planes were full of people.

A few minutes later I told her that many firefighters and policemen lost their lives that day saving other people from those buildings.  Also, I mentioned those brave men who stopped that 4th plane from its intended target.  My daughter responded by saying, "It is like a freedom day." Children are so observant.

It is hard to explain the horrors of this world to our children.  It is not good to watch news on TV in front of them.  Not that we want to overprotect them, but somethings are better handled when you are more mature.  Tragic events effect children differently than adults, that is my personal experience and opinion.  I personally think it is more scaring to a child, and that it can greatly effect their adult life.  I don't want my children to watch the planes flying into the towers, or other horrible images seen that day.

However, I want them to know what we are remembering, and it is our job to pass down the events to future generations, so they will not forget.  We want to limit scaring, and not with hold information at the same time.  Children see and hear and know a lot more than we give them credit for.  They also can confuse events easily, like my 4 year old that thought my husband's home was at work!  It is best to simply, appropriately to inform them on their level.  If we seem confident and in control of our emotions, they will feel more secure.  The information will not frighten them as much, as they feed off our emotions.  How many times have you heard that the mom sets the tone in the house?  It is a good rule of thumb to remember, like George W. Bush remembered when he got the news that day, eyes are watching you, you need to remain calm, so they may be reassured.  Show your courage, your faith in an almighty God and they will reflect you.

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