The terrible memories are still fresh on everyone's mind and the sadness still clouds our thinking as we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we learned about the events.
This year has been especially challenging for me since it is the first time my kids have questioned me about it. Olivia came home asking "mommy, what happened on 9/11?"; she said her teacher had mentioned an "attack" and she wanted a more detailed explanation about the events.
I feel like I shouldn't lie to her; she has a right to know what happened and I know she will hear about it at some point. But I also feel like I should do justice to history and to her dignity as a child, so I don't necessarily think that the "raw" story should be told to her just yet.
I gave her (and Gaby) a brief explanation regarding the events and they demanded I showed them a video; Olivia suggested that I should "google" it, so I did. After struggling to find the mildest video version of what happened on that dreaded day, I showed her some footage and that seemed to satisfy her curiosity. It was hard to see her little face reacting to such horrific images, but it was also satisfying to see how well she took it, all things considered.
So, because I know today many parents are facing the same challenges I am as they try to find child-like explanations about 9/11, I took to the internet to do some research and this is what I found. I will post the most useful articles, blogs posts and journals so that parents out there can provide their children with the outmost support as they try to learn about history.
* Explaining 9/11. http://mom.me/parenting/3888-explaining-911/
* Resources and Tips for explaining 9/11 to kids. http://blogs.familyeducation.com/blogs/erin-d/resources-and-tips-explaining-911-kids
* What happened on 9/11? http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3756477
* How to talk to your kids about 9/11 and other traumatic events. http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/160927/how_to_talk_to_your
I encourage all parents to speak clearly to their children and to always be prepared for difficult conversations; we owe it to our kids to be the best parents we can be and to provide them with ongoing support and provocative answers to their provocative questions!