On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was half asleep, nursing our one year old when the phone rang. It was my mother in law calling us in Nashville to see if my husband was on a plane in the Northeast. Since this was such a confusing question it took a minute to get past how frantic she was to find out why she was calling in such a state. She had seen the news about the plane hitting the first tower.
After assuring her that there was no reason that my husband would have been on one of those flights and that he was home and totally fine, we turned on the news just in time to see the second plane hit the tower. Little did we know that someone from the company my husband works for was on one of those planes. Our first born, who was four at the time, must have heard our reactions because he came running into the room asking what was wrong.
For a split second I was overcome with the urge to tell him what we just witnessed but I stopped myself. I also realized that in that moment there must have been many other parents who felt that same urge, and without thinking, blurted out what they just saw. Thankfully my husband and I were on the same page and we told him that there was something bad that we just saw on the news and that it would be ok. It was just very sad. There is nothing like the innocence of a child to remind you to be responsible.
In the years since then, we have only taught our kids about current events as long as they were pertinent to their lives. Our oldest does know what happened on 911 but I waited to tell him until he had the emotional maturity to understand it. I never wanted him or his siblings to live in fear due to what happened.
When I was in junior high, I remember a rash of kids in high school becoming depressed and feeling hopeless because they were shown The Day After, a movie about a small Kansas town after a nuclear holocaust. This was a fictional movie created as a result of the tension that the Cold War had created and the emotional toll it took on these kids was one that no one would soon forget. Clearly remembering how that affected so many teenagers has always dictated how we have relayed certain events to our kids.
To this day, I fail to understand why there is a push for kids as young as kindergarten to learn about slavery never mind 9/11. They don't have the emotional maturity to understand any of it. Most adults don't even fully understand. In fact, I wouldn't doubt that learning about violence in the adult world, now or in the past, affects some of children's attitudes and emotional development as they get older. Although I don't watch the news anymore, I still continue to filter the things I do learn about to our children. I am grateful that what they do learn about and how they learn it is totally in my control.
Photo credit - Sister72
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.