discussing 9/11? - Mothering Forums
Unschooling > discussing 9/11?
umami_mommy's Avatar umami_mommy 05:16 PM 08-15-2011

my kids are both starting to ask about 9/11. (it's their father's birthday, so they want to know what the commotion is all about)


does anyone have any thoughts about talking about what happened in a not too scary, compassionate way? i want them to know what happened, how it lead to the US being in 2 wars, etc.  i want them to also understand what a sad and horrible day it was in the US and around the world, but i don't want to overwhelm them with feelings. nor do i want to just gloss over it the way war was when i was in school. 


my daughter is 4.5 and my son is 9. 


i wonder if anyone else has a plan or has been thinking about this. 




zebra15's Avatar zebra15 03:14 AM 08-16-2011

9/11 is very emotional so its very natural to be overcome with feelings and emotions when talking about it.


I don't teach or really discuss that day with DS, its a week after his b'day, he will be 11 this year.  However, when teaching american history it will come up and will be covered.  But-no- I don't have a plan as of this moment.


We do have this puzzle and DS loves it


NellieKatz's Avatar NellieKatz 07:11 PM 08-23-2011

I have wanted to weigh in on this subject, but again, it is such an emotional subject, I haven't done it because I'm afraid it will cause conflict in the thread, like if I choose the wrong words to explain it. People are passionate about this event.


But I would say that with the little one, she's probably not looking for much info. Something very simple would be a good answer. Simple and to the point, with an eye to reassuring her. With your son, you could go more into the subtleties of the situation.


I don't have two kids, but I suspect that if I did, I'd enlist the older one's help in keeping things simple for the younger one, and keeping her from being too scared. In other words I might say "I've given you these details because you're old enough, but your little sister could get frightened by too much information. So if you want to talk about this in depth, you can always come to me and I will answer your questions as best I can." Like I said I don't have two kids, and I've already forgotten just what he could handle at age 4.5, but my son is 8 right now and if he had a younger friend and they were both asking about this, I would probably enlist his help in not overloading the younger one with info.


Just some random thoughts, but I chimed in because I saw how few people were answering you, It's a good question.

mattemma04 06:02 PM 08-24-2011

My kids are 9 and 12.Not sure when I told them about 9/11 but they have watched the movies on it. They know that some people hijacked planes and flew them into the twin towers.


I have also talked to them about the US being in Afganastan and Iraq,and since everyone has their own opinion about that I will just leave it at that instead of writing what I told them.


There was some major fear about a  hijacking occuring while they flew,so we covered that area about increased security(though not 100%).


We try to live life to the fullest each day,because we know some twit could end it.You'll know what to say and when the time is right. Like talk about sex,drugs,and religion it is best they hear it from you first.

onatightrope's Avatar onatightrope 08:31 PM 08-24-2011

I've told my older kids (ages 9 & 10) that some people who were angry with the US hijacked planes and flew them into buildings, and it was very scary, and lots of people died (they asked a few questions that I answered, but that was the gist).  I would probably not discuss it much with a 4.5 year old, beyond saying something like "a lot of people died 10 years ago, and people are honoring their memory, and feeling sad that they died."  



SundayCrepes's Avatar SundayCrepes 01:02 PM 08-25-2011

My 5.5 year old saw a picture of the burning towers on the internet today and asked what it was. First I said it was a really horrible thing. I showed him pictures of what the towers used to look like. Then I told him there were some angry people that wanted things their way and were willing to hurt people to try and get their way. They stole some planes and crashed them into the buildings. We looked at movies of the planes hitting the buildings and the buildings falling down. I told him lots of people died. He's really into firefighters and saw pictures of some. He said, "The firefighters didn't die. They had on their protective gear." Yes, firefighters died. They were in the buildings and the buildings fell on top of them.


He asked about the planes and I answered. Then I told them how things have changed so that there is increased security on planes so that won't happen again. Planes are safer now than they were 10 years ago.


I didn't talk about Iraq or Afghanistan. He is too young to young to make the connection. If he asks, I'll tell him. But for now he doesn't need me to tell him.


Kids this young will take in what they can and everything else will slide away. The 9 year old will obviously understand more. However, I'd still limit what I told the 9 year old in front of the little one. I believe in answering their questions honestly. (I asked my mom in 1968 if we were at war and she actually told me no.) However, they still don't need to hear it all right away.

annakiss's Avatar annakiss 12:52 PM 08-28-2011

My son and I discussed it in May. He's 9 now, was 8 then. He had seen Osama bin Laden's face all over and wanted to know who he was and why everyone was talking about him. I told him the facts of it as well as about how everyone was really scared that day, all over the world, even far away from the towers and the pentagon. I told him how the news spread rumors and things were confusing. Then I told him that our president's response was to start two wars. I told him it took ten years to capture bin Laden. I told him that he and I protested the wars repeatedly, even when he was a baby. I told him that the wars have been going on his whole life. He really thought that was stupid.


He seemed able to handle it, though the idea of flying in a plane sounds scary now. But it's in a far-away way. We're not flying anywhere any time soon and he has no recollection of ever flying. I think that my son could handle this information. I know him though. I don't see what's wrong with facts. I didn't try to paint a horrible picture. I just tried to be honest.


My 6 year old has not asked at all.

foreverinbluejeans's Avatar foreverinbluejeans 06:14 PM 09-06-2011

My grandson turns 3 on 9/11. I was there for his birth and I wanted my dil to hurry up and have him on 9/10. He was born around 12:30 am. I live with them and am his primary caretaker. I plan to keep the TV off all day. I know he will find out before he is old enough to understand.

umami_mommy's Avatar umami_mommy 08:42 AM 09-09-2011
sleet76's Avatar sleet76 05:55 PM 09-18-2011

Nick.com has a nice 22-min news program geared for older kids, and after watching it first, I watched with my DD, age 8 (very mature for age).  Thought it was a good piece.


AllyRae's Avatar AllyRae 07:22 PM 09-18-2011

I watched it with my 7 year old after I previewed it the night before...it was a good program.

Originally Posted by sleet76 View Post

Nick.com has a nice 22-min news program geared for older kids, and after watching it first, I watched with my DD, age 8 (very mature for age).  Thought it was a good piece.