Six Tips for Talking to Kids About 9/11
It’s the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. How do you talk to your KIDS about it if they ask?
The details are scary, especially if they’re young. But they might have questions if they hear about it on the news, or at school. Here are six tips from experts . . .
1. Gauge how much they already know. Your first question should be, “What do YOU know about 9/11?” They may have learned stuff in school, or could even have bad information they got from somewhere else. So address that first.
2. Be mindful of their age. If they’re young, keep it simple and don’t get too detailed. Teens can handle more and might have specific questions, like what was it like living through it. So be prepared for that.
3. Use a lesson plan. The 9/11 Memorial has them broken down for different age groups. You can download them for free at 911Memorial.org.
4. Encourage them to talk to other people who remember. Especially if you DON’T remember much. Parents in their 30’s were still kids back then. Even just telling them where you were or how it felt can be valuable. But feel free to lean on an aunt, uncle, or grandparent too.
5. Read and watch stories from survivors, or people who lost loved ones. That’s more for older kids. But understanding the emotions of 9/11 can be just as important as knowing the facts. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to understand how big of an event it was, and how many lives it touched.
6. Plan a trip to a 9/11 memorial. No matter where you are, you’re not far from one. There are over 1,000 memorials across the U.S. now.