How Do You Talk To Your Kids About Osama?

Consulting Mahwah parentsfor advice

In light of the , and the memories of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, today’s Mom Council question asks how you discuss these topics with your children. How do you explain television images of the attacks? Do you share this information with your kids?

Mom’s Council member Lauren Rosen said:

“I wish I had a clear answer to this highly controversial question, but unfortunately, I don’t. Every child has a different level of curiosity and tolerance for adversity. Parents know their children best and can base the decision to share details of this difficult topic on prior experiences. Most importantly, ask yourself how your child has handled adverse information in the past and what the benefit would be to share at this point.

There are wonderful children’s and informational books in the library to help address the topic of 9/11 and the “War on Terrorism”. There are also many helpful tips and hints on the Internet. Once a child has some prior knowledge and is emotionally comfortable, I would then, and only then, tell them about the death of Osama bin Laden.

Post discussion, I would make sure to open the door for further discussion. It is important to discuss it further at later dates to help solidify understanding and clear up any misconceptions or anxieties.”

Is this how you are handling the topic with your kids?

Suzanne Curry May 04, 2011 at 05:12 PM
My 14 year old does not understand world politics, nor do I expect him to understand the implications and ramifications of all that has happened in the past 10 years. My 17-year old intently and curiously watched the evening news the past couple of days, but again, if he understands it is at a more simplistic level which I would expect rather than the level of understanding someone like me who has been on this planet for almost 50 years has gained. See next box
Suzanne Curry May 04, 2011 at 05:14 PM
They know the facts of what has transpired. As a proud American whose father fought in the army in WW2 and is still alive to share his stories, many reluctantly, to me this opens up a teaching moment to explain to my children just what a great country we live and how we are extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful and courageous soldiers putting their lives at risk to fight and keep our freedom. I strive to instill this feeling of pride in my children. I only half jest when I tell my kids that the subject of history was easier when I was a kid. There was less of it :-) and the furthest some of my high school textbooks got was the Vietnam War. The world is truly a global society now and more complicated than ever. Our children are watching the world without any control of it right now. It is my hope that through education and awareness and guidance from us parents that they take with them and learn the knowledge needed to make it a better place. – Suzanne Curry, Writing as a Member of the Mom’s Council
Patricia Patella May 04, 2011 at 05:41 PM
My two older children know what happened on 9/11 in general. In school and at home they've discussed Osama in broad terms of terrorist. They don't really want to hear all the horrible details and as a mom, I want to protect them from such things. Yet when they have questions, I answer them. They understood that Osama was a very bad person and that he killed many innocent people. They also understand why Americans are happy at his demise. When questions arise, I assure them that they don't have to be afraid to go about their daily routine. That although these terrible things happened in the USA, Mahwah is a safe place. I want my children to understand there are some people in the world who do not have our (Americans) best interest in mind, but I remind them, when we travel we are very careful and at home they should only be concerned about school and sports and all the regular things pre-teens should worry about. Leave the rest to mom and dad, for now.


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