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#1 of 38 Old 09-07-2011, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My child is in Kindergarten at this awesome charter school, and we are all very happy with it so far.  This week they announced that they are doing an assembly on Friday, which ALL students are required to attend, but which parents are prohibited from because of fire safety laws in the assembly hall (there's room for the entire student body & teachers, but nobody else).  The assembly will be a 9/11 memorial.  They have promised there will be no graphic images, and I'm sure there won't be, just songs by the school chorus and a few brief speeches by a couple of teachers, to whom my 5-year-old is not likely to pay much attention to.  Still...we have not as parents addressed this part of history with her, and because we won't be there we can't really know how it was presented.  As a friend of mine said, hopefully the kids will come away from the assembly with the impression that firefighters and police-people are heroes, instead of the fear that an airplane could fly into their house sometime soon.  I don't know....my husband and I talked about it, and we decided not to make a big deal about it, but I'm still left with a weird feeling....if they had offered a choice to have your child attend or not, or made it "mandatory" for the older kids, but not for the ones who weren't even born when this happened, depending on how the parents feel about it....I just feel like this was pushed on us, and not by the media, which you'd expect, since it is after all the 10 year anniversary, but by her school.   Her school that prides itself on NOT being entirely beholden to state education requirements and claims a learning philosophy based on individualism and democratic principles.

 

Maybe I'm just a typical middle class educated stay-at-home-mom over-thinking a perfectly legitimate event in my child's life that will, realistically, be no more than a blip on her radar screen for now.  But I have a pretty precocious kid, if I do say so myself, and it's equally likely that she'll come home with lots of questions and worries on Friday afternoon.  Also, it's not like 9/11 wasn't anything personal to me and my husband and therefore we want to protect our children from exposure to it as long as possible.  We had family there, and they had friends we knew who died.  But memorials are for grown-ups who experienced the event being remembered.  Not for young children who barely understand what it means to be dead. 

 

Am I psycho?  :(


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#2 of 38 Old 09-07-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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How should the school do this? have some students attend and others not?--do they have enough staff to keep say half of the class there and the others back in the class room?

 

 if this is an issue- don't send her that day----I simply don't get how you think you will be a head of everything she hears and learns about in school- do they do some kind of pre-approval that you get to review?

 

death is usually talked about at very young ages-I had a fellow student die when I went to school-it had to be addressed 

 

 

 

 

I find a lot of what you wrote very disturbing 

 

 

 

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 but not for the ones who weren't even born when this happened, depending on how the parents feel about it....I just feel like this was pushed on us, and not by the media

AND many people are jumping on schools and other organizations for not doing enough!

 

 

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Her school that prides itself on NOT being entirely beholden to state education requirements and claims a learning philosophy based on individualism and democratic principles.

 

frankly if this is even an issue I don't see school in general working well for you--history starts at a very young age is most schools and that means death and war, etc

 

the school doesn't come across as a good fit for you

 


 

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#3 of 38 Old 09-07-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Schools are typically very good at tailoring assemblies to the children's level so I wouldn't worry about this.  I sheltered my dd from a lot of things and was really surprised by how capable she was of understanding the issues she learned about in school without being afraid.  I don't think you should worry about the assembly.  The teachers will probably talk some about what 9/11 is before the assembly, if they haven't already done that. 

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#4 of 38 Old 09-07-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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I grew up with stories of WWII. It was very normal part of Russian childhood. I am glad I did. My parent did not shield me from history or books about my grade level. I have talked to my kids about 9/11 at early age. It is integral part of American life.

 

I think intrinsic problem with shielding kids from the worlds, is that we can;t control the world and it will intrude one way or another. It is better to simply prepare the children with age appropriate info.

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#5 of 38 Old 09-07-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.  Yeah, I feel like mostly it'll be okay.  I think I said that in my post.  I just wish the parents, especially of the youngest children, would have been given more of a heads-up and more of a choice in how this was presented.  Serenbat, I had hoped there wouldn't be someone who would choose to flame me for this post, but seriously, I'm just hashing out some feelings and thoughts with like-minded women and if you find my thoughts and feelings "disturbing" I wish you would not have replied at all. By the way, American history starts in FIFTH grade at the schools in my state, and my daughter is in Kindergarten.


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#6 of 38 Old 09-07-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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Reminder to all to keep it respectful!

 

I can see how this would be unsettling (the assembly). I can remember that my son was in 1st grade on 9/11 and I was actually reallly grateful that the school didn't discuss it with the parents but allowed them to talk with their kids about it first.

 

since there are no graphic images and the younger kids won't totally get what it's about, it's probably o.k.--likely a lot like a Memorial Day acknowledgement. Perhaps if you talk about it a bit at home the night before it will have a place to fit in your child's mind.


 
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#7 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 04:45 AM
 
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I was extremely offended by the original post- disturbing is really a mild word compared to how it made me feel

 

I was unaware only certain people were allowed to reply???   

 

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and thoughts with like-minded women

so only if you think you are correct?  

 

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Am I psycho?  :(

should this be allowed?

 

 

as the other posted put it, I also am sure the school is addressing this and most-likely has already spoken to the children about it prior to letting you know-how is this wrong? I just don't get it

 

most schools do talk about history at a kindy level, we address holidays (and many do bring death) and children (like it or not) do deal with deaths of other students (their families and lives) to enter into the class room all the time expecting children to be removed from this unavoidable- I don't see and see no answer as to how this was to be addressed that did not offended others?

 

while you may wish to shelter your child it seems unrealistic to expect a school to do so and bashing the school (that is how it came across to me) for honoring seems very out of place

 

teaching children - IMO that you can only have memorials when you are older is misguided and clearly lacks the whole concept of history (not to mention Memorial Day, 4 of July, Presidents days, MLK day- etc) and the importance there of

 

- many children deal with reality of death and war everyday, they may have a  parent who are gone and your child may be hearing a lot more in the classroom than you know- at this age, many parents have spoken to their children about 9-11 and regardless that the school is doing a program


 

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#8 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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i don't plan to public school but wanted to respond to your post.  this would bother me.  very much.

parents can "opt out" of things like sex ed but not patriotic displays?  i wouldn't want something like this to be mandatory.  i don't want to say more because i probably hold a very unpopular opinion about things like this, but i'd just keep my kid home that day if the school tried to make any kind of assembly mandatory that i disagreed with. 

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#9 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 06:28 AM
 
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I think the assembly is an appropriate use of time.  

 

I think it is unlikely a 5 year old will get much out of it - it might be boring and over their heads.  None-the -less I  am in favour of them attending.  It is their culture and their country - they should participate with their community.

 

However, if you think your child is too sensitive for any reference to 9/11 I would remove her for the day.  You are the mom and know your child best.  Take her out for the day or just the assembly.  I would not bother battling the school on this - I think many people would want a 9/11 memorial (including me and I often dislike these sort of things) and very few people will agree with you.

 

I do think you might have trust issues with the schools ability to handle this in the way you would handle it.  This is a complicated issue.  

 

Is there a reason you do not trust the school?

 

To be honest, I do wish they would allow parent attendance at the memorial.  You could see how they handled the sensitive subject matter, and be in the know if you discuss the memorial with your DD afterwards.  I probably would address this with the school.  My DD had numerous (too many!) assemblies last year on tough topics - but parents were always invited.  I do not disbelieve the school on the fire # issue, but I do wonder how they handle other things - such as award days, graduations, Xmas celebrations where kids and parents do typically attend together.  They must have a larger room or break the school up into larger and smaller groups.  I would ask and I would let them know you really wanted to attend the memorial ceremony for xyz reasons.

 

In my world trust is somewhat earned.  I also have my own baggage with schools (I am not alone in this).   I do not fault you for not trusting them yet - school just started for your daughter and you have no idea if they are trustworthy or how they would handle such a emotional topic.

 

 

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#10 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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If you are really concerned, then it's probably best to keep her home for the day. With the amount of coverage of the 10th anniversary, I think it's going to be difficult to completely shelter her from it, but it's your call.

 

I recall learning about the JFK assassination when I was in kindy, when there was a memorial for him. I didn't understand it completely at the time, but I don't rememeber it being particularly traumatizing. I see the Sept. 11 services as similar to WWI and WWII and other war memorials that typically occur as an annual assembly in schools, Does a kindergarten student really understand the difference between something that happened 10 years ago and something that happened 60 years ago? Both occurred before she was born and she has no direct experience or knowledge of either event. I'm not sure I see a distinction. Does the school hold a Memorial Day assembly, and if so, do you have similar concerns?

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#11 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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Opt out. If you want her to be aware at the age of 5/6 of 9/11 then you can tell her yourself in the right setting. I don't let mine attend because it would overwhelm my oldest DD. Just because they're in school doesn't mean you lose your rights as a parent between the hours of 7:45 and 3:00.

I'm not exactly sure why the school even need to do a memorial for any of these events. Yes 9/11 was tragic, and so were all the other events where lives were lost. However why do it in a school where the kids are too young to really understand what happened? I can see high school doing something like this but elementary?
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#12 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 06:53 AM
 
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Can you just ask the teacher what the assembly will be about and let her know that you're worried that it will be too much for your child? What time of day is the assembly? Maybe you could go in late. I agree with the other posters that if, after talking to the teacher, you still feel uncomfortable with the idea just keep her home during the assembly time. 

 

I could see be concerned about my dd1 who was very sensitive at age 5, but some kids would be fine with it. My dd2 is more resilient and would have likely been okay with it. 

 

Also, in NC, IME (my dd1 is in 5th) history will come up sooner. While US History is in the NC Course of Study as a defined part of the curriculum beginning in 5th grade, these things come up in social studies. Last year in the 1st grade my dd1 did a unit on NC History and studied the Civil War. This year they were asked as part of their opening unit on communities if there were any historical markers in their community. You can't send her to school and expect to shelter her, even if it's a charter school.

 

Even if it the school doesn't have an assembly to address it other kids, even in K, may make comments, especially if they have older siblings, or parents who are involved in memorial remembrances. It's probably better to have it come as an official message from the administration and teachers who you would hope would try to make it age appropriate than to have it come from another kid who might say something like, "terrorists are going to crash a plane into our school because today is 9/11!"


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#13 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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I understand your concerns, OP.  As adults, and even our older kids, we've had time and distance to process, begin to heal and have perspective.  Little kids being exposed to the events, the emotion, the potentially disturbing information, would concern me too. I'm sure the school would be very sensitive.  I know that we were touched very closely by the event, and still, we worked hard to make sure that my child wasn't exposed to more than we felt she could reasonable take in, or handle, based on her age, and sensitivities.  I think it's very important to take into consideration where kids are at developmentally, and know what we expect them to do with the information they are being given or exposed to.

 

FWIW, my middle schooler has been reading about the events of 9/11, and they have been learning about the re-building efforts re: CNN student news.  As a family we have watched some of the programming leading up to the anniversary (meaning our family, along with grand parents).  She is just starting to be able to take in what happened, and deal with the horror and loss--it's huge, and very emotional, but she is at an age where she is dealing with the information, and our family's experience, both cognitively and emotionally.

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#14 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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I would be entirely uncomfortable with the assembly as you describe it.  In part because I would be worried that DD would be upset by talk of death.  But, more because I am uncomfortable with patriotic displays and have concerns about how 9/11 has been used to promote wars and limit civil liberties.  Since I would expect that the assembly would undermine the belief system of my family, I would not have my child attend.  Just as I would not have my child attend a religious ceremony held in school (a play about Christmas, for example). 

 

So,  I would find out what time it's being held, whether or not there was further discussion of the assembly planned in the classroom for the day and plan to pick my child up early, go in late, etc...  I might then address 9/11, summarize the issues that I expect the assembly to cover and then summarize my own concerns with DD so that she wasn't being sheltered but she was being supported. 

 

For example, as a kid my mother removed me from school when the school did duck and cover drills (insane that they were still happening in the early 80s, but anyway...) we talked about why she didn't want me to participate and I was never made to feel awkward for leaving.  Instead, I learned an important lesson about standing up for what you believe in. 

 

This advice though is all based on the assumption that you are actually opposed to what the assembly is likely to cover.  I would encourage you to talk with the teacher and find out what will be included and then examine if you think that is material you want your child exposed to.  You do have a choice here and I don't think questioning one aspect of the schools curriculum suggests that it isn't a good match overall.  I think actively working with your school to match your child's needs is what you, your child and the school most want. 

 

Good luck in dealing with this difficult decision. 

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#15 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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I feel for you and I can see why this is difficult. My kids were 3 and 4 when it happened and they watched it live on TV. 9/11 has never been a secret in our house. I can how deciding when to tell a child and exactly what to tell them would be very difficult. That was never my choice -- my situation was they knew, and I had to figure out a way to talk about it on their level when everything was very, very raw. At least now there are resources and books -- years later we read a very nice picture book about a tug boat that old and hadn't been used for anything for a long time but helped. Nice things like that are simple and age appropriate for a small child.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACsMom View Post  But memorials are for grown-ups who experienced the event being remembered.  Not for young children who barely understand what it means to be dead. 


I respectfully disagree with this statement. Memorials serve many purposes, and one of them is teaching children.Another is to help everyone, even children, process. 

 

You can keep her home and keep 9/11 a secret a little longer. But you have no way of knowing much longer because this is such a prevalent national event that if you don't talk to her, she'll end up being told by another child.

 

I don't see this as a politically issue at all, or even a patriotic one. The buildings were full of people -- people from all over the world, people of all ages, people of all different political views and religions. People from all over the world grieved and offered help and support. This was a tragic world event.


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#16 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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It sounds like at least part of your concern stems from the fact that the school is going to be responsible for your child's first impression of 9/11 because they're telling your child about it before you do. So can you just talk to her about it before the assembly?

 

If she's like I was when I was five, anything that happened 10 years ago is Ancient History, and therefore she won't have concerns about planes crashing into her house/school any more than she's worried about a horde of Mongolian warriors attacking. Hopefully. I've heard some little kids have issues understanding probability (i.e. if something is theoretically possible but incredibly unlikely, they think it's probably going to happen), so if your child is like that, you might want to talk about our nation's security measures and act like you have tons of faith in them--even if you don't--to give her the impression that it's impossible to happen again.
 

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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I was extremely offended by the original post- disturbing is really a mild word compared to how it made me feel

 

Quote:
while you may wish to shelter your child it seems unrealistic to expect a school to do so and bashing the school (that is how it came across to me) for honoring seems very out of place

 

While I'm normally pretty easily disturbed by parents wanting to shelter their kids (maybe it's just because I don't have my own yet and am not able to be sympathetic, but I find something to be baffled about every time I come to MDC), I can't find anything to be disturbed about in the OP's post. I wonder if you might have misread something, because your response is just plain confusing because the antagonism is so out-of-place. If you hadn't quoted what she wrote I'd have figured you meant to reply to some other topic and accidentally posted a reply in the wrong place.

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#17 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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I understand where you are coming from OP, and I would want to be there, too.  I don't find your post "disturbing" at all because you're just a concerned parent wondering how something that is SIGNIFICANT in our very lifetime is presented to children.  At the age of 5, kids may ignore the assembly or they may pay 100% attention to it.  If they do pay attention, how are they going to react?  Also, how will the administration present it?  There are many people who have strong feelings against Muslims (in general) because of 9/11 and I would be wondering if they are going to bring religion (as much as they're not supposed to) into the presentation.  There are people who are hyper-patriotic and/or it could be emotional even for the adults (especially if they knew those who were killed) and very confusing for the kids.  Because we are still living this history (we are still at war over this incident), I don't consider it a history lesson, per se, but a memorial to an event that is still very present in our lives.  I think you have every right to know how they are going to approach the subject.

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#18 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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Honestly, if I didn't like the tone I thought things were going to take.. I'd keep my kid out that morning. Just because you public school doesn't mean you have to attend all things.
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#19 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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I wouldn't have wanted my child to participate in this sort of thing at school either. For starters, we're in a conservative district. They wouldn't even show Obama's address to school children (which was all about staying in school and being devoted to your education.) My kids have had adult at school tell her that evolution has been absolutely disproven and that polution is in NO WAY responsible for any of the issues we are having (um what... not even oil spills?) We love our school district for many reasons but there are a lot of view points I just don't agree with. I would not trust their interpretation of 9/11. I have no doubt that someone would make a crack about muslims even though we have several in the school (there have been staff that have made cracks about democrats and atheists.) This is too recent and politically charged for some adults to be responsible with in a school setting and no, I would have likely kept my kids at 5 home. I don't "shelter" my kids. I just prefer that when they are little and most sensitive, that they get the most balanced and rational explanation they can from home first.

 

My eldest watched it on TV when she was home sick from preschool at 4. It was deeply disturbing to her and effected her for most of a year. She even had recurring nightmares of being trapped in burning buildings. I do wish I had known prior to turning on that TV that this is what we'd see. I can't remember how old my DS was when we talked about it but he was exposed to it by us first.

 

I don't agree that memorials are only for adults. Kids often find well handled memorials very healing. I do feel like it's a part of history and there are plenty of horrible historical facts that kids learn at school. However, in this situation, I think you have reason to cautious and since you are new to the school, you really don't know them well enough to trust how they'd handle it. 

 

Keep her home or attend the memorial with her. It's not bad for her to learn about what happened at 5 but it might be good to hear what she's being told so you can help her make sense of it inline with your belief systems.


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#20 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post
 I can't find anything to be disturbed about in the OP's post.


I can't either.

 

My ds isn't likely to be bothered by something like this, though my dd can be a little sensitive. I don't know if there will be an assembly, but my dcn's school is doing a penny fundraiser for 9/11 families.

 


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#21 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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I wonder if you might have misread something, because your response is just plain confusing because the antagonism is so out-of-place. 

no, that is how I feel - there are many statements in the OP that make me feel the way I said

 

and

 

 as others have also said -  

 

 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACsMom View Post  But memorials are for grown-ups who experienced the event being remembered.  Not for young children who barely understand what it means to be dead. 


I respectfully disagree with this statement. Memorials serve many purposes, and one of them is teaching children.Another is to help everyone, even children, process. 

bold by me

 

I find the quote the OP wrote as I described-I was not reading another post nor do I need to be view as hyper-patriotic for holding my beliefs!

 

 

 

opt out is a great option but if you want to think you child won't be exposed because the don't attend a service thats really stretching it - IMO


 

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#22 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughtful replies, all.  I have/had no plans to shelter my child from knowledge of 9/11; my main issue with the school doing this was that there wasn't a whole lot of heads-up for the parents, if we did want to take this opportunity to introduce & process this subject with our kids; and the fact that the parents are not invited.  I agree that it will very likely be tastefully done and hopefully not political in any way.  But I have a sensitive child who sometimes DOES latch on to something she hears and develops anxiety around it.  I certainly will be talking to her about this before the assembly, and I don't plan to address my concerns with the school other than to talk to her teacher to get more details on how it will be presented.  It's not that I don't trust the school, either - I completely trust them, actually, to conduct the school day in a way they genuinely feel is best for the students.  But as someone posted, I don't lose my rights as a parent between the hours of 8 and 3 every day, and I don't lose my right to feel concerned about her exposure to a potentially emotional presentation about a horrible and terrifying event. 


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#23 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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opt out is a great option but if you want to think you child won't be exposed because the don't attend a service thats really stretching it - IMO



I didn't get that from the OP.  I got that she was struggling with a legitimate question about whether or not the memorial at school was the right choice, for her child.  I think her questions are developmentally on target.  How do very young children process emotionally charged events?  How do they experience themselves, and their place, when exposed to issues of loss, trauma, etc.    The OP stated that she and her partner are intimately connected through loss to this event.  I didn't hear that they are hiding from this at all.

 

 

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#24 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Honestly, if I didn't like the tone I thought things were going to take.. I'd keep my kid out that morning. Just because you public school doesn't mean you have to attend all things.


Yes. I wouldn't spend much time analyzing this from every angle. If you don't want her to go, keep her home. It's not truly "mandatory", she doesn't have to go. And it does sound to me like the school gave you a heads' up by telling you a few days ahead of time. So you have a few days' notice to decide whether you want to address it with your child first, keep her home, let her attend, etc.

 

I wouldn't assume you are completely shielding her from it by keeping her home though. Other kids will be talking about it and her teacher may be talking more about it to the children next week. So maybe you should talk to her about it regardless of whether or not you let her go to the assembly. 

 

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#25 of 38 Old 09-08-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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I would fret about an assembly like this.  My daughter is five and she's sensitive.  She knows very little about 9/11.  My husband and I were there, we watched it all happen from our windows.  It was a terrifying time.  I find it hard to watch the memorials and things on tv, it's just too much.  Incidentally, we had also just moved to Louisiana a few days before Katrina.  I find it hard to watch memorials from that time, too.  It's just too hard.  It feels like being right back in that time and it's a reminder that it happened once, it could happen again.  I don't think they shouldn't HAVE memorials and documentaries, I'm just not ready to watch them and try to explain ALL the details to my five year old.

 

I have tried to talk to my daughter about these things in age-appropriate terms but it's hard.  It's hard for me to get through it without choking up and that scares her.  I don't want her to be afraid.  It's also hard to know how much is enough or too much information and it's complicated.

 

You do have the option to discuss it ahead of time in whatever terms you feel appropriate and assume the school will handle it with sensitivity, then be ready to answer her questions when she has them.  There were so so many children who lost parents, I am sure there are some excellent sources on line for how to discuss this with kids.

 

We also talk about the real deal on Thanksgiving and other things like that, so my daughter is aware that violence happens and that history is complex, with good guys and bad guys and gray areas.  I just don't think at FIVE she's ready for the whole story and as much as possible, I try to get in ahead of other people to ease her in. 

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#26 of 38 Old 09-09-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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Hopefully you were able to decide what was right for your daughter.  9/11 should be remembered of course.  However it wouldn't hurt if you explained it to her first.

 

I'm rather confused as to why others got so upset about this.  Seriously?  I'm noticing more and more that there are a few names that come up on this forum and they will disagree with everything and say something rude and snarky.  How is that helpful?  This is a mothering forum, helping each other come to some sort of sane conclusion with our own familes through reaching out to others.  Not be put down or disrespected. 

 

Put your cranky pants aside and lets help each other. 

 

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#27 of 38 Old 09-09-2011, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Imakcerka!  I spoke to her teacher and the focus of the assembly will be on pride in our country and how people came together as Americans to help each other, etc.  They've been doing some prep work with the younger kids in the classroom, tying the upcoming assembly to the Pledge of Allegiance they say every morning...stuff like that.  So I'm feeling a whole lot less "weird."  If my daughter comes home with any questions, we'll talk about it then.  If she doesn't, we'll just leave it at that.


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#28 of 38 Old 09-12-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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update please!! 

 

How was it? What did your DD get out of it? Do you feel the school handled it well?

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#29 of 38 Old 09-13-2011, 05:18 AM
 
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I was wondering how it went too. I noticed our paper had an article about talking to kids about 9/11 but I think it ran on 9/11. I was thinking they should have run it a couple days earlier.

 

Hope things went well!

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#30 of 38 Old 09-13-2011, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

update please!! 

 

How was it? What did your DD get out of it? Do you feel the school handled it well?

 

 

Lol - her biggest take-away was that the 8th grade chorus at her school is awesome and she wants to be in it when she gets old enough.  Regarding the presentation itself, however, she was a little confused.  I think that the prep the teachers did beforehand led her to believe the presentation would have something to do with the "Pledge," as she calls it, and she didn't understand why they didn't say the Pledge during the assembly.  I had talked to her the night before to try to explain what the assembly was going to be about, and she said, "I know, Mom, my teacher told me."  So I was like, "Okay, well can we talk about it again after the assembly and you let me know if you have questions?"  and she said we could.  But when she came home that day she was all about the chorus, and her only question was why they didn't say the Pledge.  I asked her what they did do, and she really couldn't remember anything at all that was said....I think the whole thing was lost on the young kids, but now that I'm looking at this in retrospect I think that as a package, the classroom prep plus the assembly was a pretty mild introduction to the subject and probably the best way it could have been done.  I still don't understand the school's reasoning for not involving the parents, but I'm going to let this one go.  Thanks for all the support here, everyone! :)


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