Originally Posted by ACsMom
Well, so far she has heard from us that the Fourth of July is a celebration of our country's independence, that Presidents' Day honors the people who have led said country, that MLK was a great man who stood up for freedom and compassion toward all people, and she doesn't know what Memorial Day or Labor Day are because she's too young to get it. What do you tell YOUR very young children about these things?
This is about what Milo knows, too, and he's going to be 8 tomorrow. I think I have told him something more about Memorial Day, but not much. And how many of us really know what the deal with Labor Day is anyway?
He knows quite a bit more than that about 9/11, but even so, I would have felt a little worried about sending him to an assembly like that. We have talked about it on several occasions because he LOVES listening to NPR and it comes up quite often in one way or another. He has also asked why we get searched on the way into the airport. And I feel like it's important to be very careful about how I present it because I don't want him to grow up feeling like something tragic and catastrophic might happen at any moment. I would hate for him to learn about it for the first time, or even be presented with stories or facts about it that we hadn't already discussed, as a five year old sitting in a sea of other five year olds rather than as part of a one-on-one conversation with someone who cared greatly about his emotional well-being. I do understand that it's quite possible that other children will talk about it around him at some point and I can only hope he's well prepared for it. He was not prepared at four when his best friend told him that sometimes people steal children and kill them. So, I know that I cannot protect against everything, but just do my best.
At Milo's school, btw, the teachers/staff never say anything at all about 9/11. They are a little more into patriotic displays than I'd like, but they do see that 9/11 is one of those things that parents should be allowed to address in their own time and way.
On NPR the other day we heard an interview of a woman who was in one of the towers when it was hit. She was asked what she has told her son about it and she said, like it was the most natural thing in the world, "well, he's only seven, so he doesn't know anything about what happened on 9/11 yet." It really surprised me since Milo has known the basics of what happened for a good long time now. But who's to say when the time is right for a particular family or child? I certainly didn't feel like she was wrong not to have talked to him about it yet.