How have your children been affected by 9/11?
How have your children been affected by the tragedies of September 11? Did you find an effective way of helping your child cope? How do we best explain the unexplainable to young children? Share your experiences.
Children under the age of 16 or so shouldn't have been allowed to see most of the images from 9-11 in the first place. Telling them what happened, tailoring the explanation to suit the child, would have been appropriate but anyone who let children see the images of the falling bodies was very irresponsible. If a child has seen the images and actually understands what's being seen and is troubled by them, s/he probably needs to see a professional therapist. Parents need to provide the safest environment possible at home and need to reassure their children that this event was a very rare occurrance and isn't likely to be repreated, especially in the town where they live. My kids, ages 6 and 8 at the time, saw almost none of the tv coverage, heard only a little of the radio coverage and were not shown the newspaper or magazine coverage. They did see images of the towers burning and after the collapse, but they didn't see any dead bodies, injured people or people jumping out of windows. We explained what had happened to our kids in a calm way, we told them that it was over and that they were safe. We answered any questions they had. They got tired of hearing about it at school or just being mentioned on the tv or radio news. Now, almost a year later, they understand it better and aren't troubled by it. Neither of my kids had nightmares or anything when it happened, and I think keeping the media images did a lot to help with that.
Marcy , Stephenville, TX
Please do not misconstrue my remarks as being uncaring or unsympathetic to the plight of those who lost loved ones on September 11 in the terrorist attacks, particularly those who have bereaved children to raise without a beloved parent. But what does all of this attention to those specific deaths say to, for instance, the three young children of a 38-year old music teacher in my city who died of breast cancer last week? Was her death no less tragic? What about all the innocent people who died just as horrifically in highway accidents in the past year, many leaving children as well? Congressman Meehan made a big show of raising scholarship money for the 9/11 victims' children; former President Clinton and former Vice-President Dole have just raised megabucks for the same purpose. Acting Governer Swift announced last year that those same children would go to Massachusetts state colleges free. And so it goes on - a prioritization of tragedy. It looks so good in the headlines, doesn't it? Again, I mourn, I've cried, I've prayed, for the victims, for their families, for our nation, for our world. But let's not forget the more mundane tragedies that happen every day. And let's distibute our concern and our largesse with fairness. Salem
Hannah , Salem MA
My sons are 4 and 8. The 4 year old had asked me to stop watching the "sad movie" last year as I was crying so much. The 8 year old does realize that this tragedy could happen to me or my husband. Even now, there are extra hugs given when we part for the day. We did fly to Orlando this year, and my 8 year old did ask if this could happen to our plane. I explained about the security at the airport, and I told him that this country was won based on the bravery of others. To show fear, and to not go and do the things that we enjoy, means that the "bad guys" have won. Once he understood that, he went on that plane!!
A Mom, Revere
How do you think parents in Palestine explain what is going on there on a daily basis? In some measure we live in a bubble here away from what effects the rest of the world.
Shawn, Loretto Pa.
My 5 year old son has had a rather abnormal turnout from the September 11th attacks. My son wants to be an eagle, he jumps up and down on his bed and tries to fly, but of course me and my husband know that rather impossible. But we do believe that he wants to be an eagle because of what he has learned in school and from us as parents from the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. So me and my husband came up with a solution and we put together a dog cable in the back yard so our son can run and fly all around the yard. So "Yes" I do believe September 11th 2001 has affected my son but in a manner that is rather expressive and artistic. Daniel (our son) we believe in you and hope one day you will be able to soar like an eagle and fly to the heavens. R.I.P. once and for all, all the victims of September 11th 2001. We truly love you all!
How the attacks affected my family. my daughter Jasmyn had just turned 9. Of course watching news the nation saw that Police officers and Fire Figthers reponded to the WTC's and died trying to help victims there. So jazzy asked me what time do i leave for work. I told her about 6:45 am. for the next few days she would get up early to see me off too work' and say I will see you to night right. As I started my car to leave for work it struck me my daughter was afraid. I must admit I was taken back by it, because I am a Police Officer (Boston)
Jim , Medford Ma
Kids are in their own little world, give them a Slush Puppy and their cares go away. The kids in America are so spoiled compared to the kids in Afghanistan. How do you explain to a little kid in Afghanistan why these big bad USA planes are carpet bombing their living rooms?
Too Tall Ted, Boston, MA
just told them that this is the way the REAL world is. did not dwell on it. reminded them and myself about ww 2 ,korea,and vietnam. would not let them feel sorry for themselves. too much of this 'oh my god! what do what to do'.
The September 11 attacks and subsequent media coverage had a profound effect on my children, particularly my 9 yr old son. I was contacted by his teacher who was upset by the imagery in a story he had written. He described an explosion after which "there was nothing left bigger than a phonebook." What she failed to recognize, was that it was a direct quote from the news coverage of the plane crash in PA. I had kept the tv off and tried to shield the kids from the coverage to the extent that I could, but apparently I was not successful.
Maybe I am naive, but my children were not terribly affected by this. They are 9 and 6. We explained what happened but did not dwell on it. We were not personally affected (meaning we did not know anyone who was killed). The 9 year old has more questions than the 6 year old, but still, the questions themselves are quite simple and innocent. We have travelled abroad since the and they were fine. I was nervous and I think they were a little nervous, too. Children respond the way the adults respond around them and they have their own narrow view of the world. From a historical perspective, my father-in-law survived the repeated bombing of London in WWII as a 6 year old (as did many children) and is perfectly fine and normal.
Andrea, Sharon, MA