Thursday, September 11, 2008

How Much is Too Much?

Well, since September 11 happened over 2 years before Abby was born, I've never really mentioned it to her at all. Today I thought about what happened, where I was when I heard about the attacks, how the day went, etc. I wondered how I would deal with it if it had happened after I became a mother - would I have been more afraid, more patriotic, or what? But all this I thought in my head. I didn't say anything to the kids, but I did think in my mind about how I would explain the significance of 9-11 to my kids if I needed to.

Abby went to school as usual, but on the way home today she mentioned 9-11. She told me that "7 days ago," three jet planes had crashed into a tall building far away. She had heard this in chapel at school. Her school has a school-wide chapel every Thursday, so the message had to be appropriate for Kindergartners through middle school or high school.

Now my question is, did I want her to know this at age 4? Did I want her to know less, or more of the details? Is it really the school's place to tell my daughter about September 11? I'm not sure how I really feel about this, but I do know that I want my kids to stay innocent as long as they can. They don't know that people murder people, terrorize people, or even hate people. I like it that way - after all, they're only 4, 2, and 1. They have plenty of years ahead of them to learn about how evil and hate-filled the world can be.

So what about you? Have you ever had a teacher or someone similar tell your kids more than you wanted them to know? How did you handle it? Do you think I'm wrong or right about sheltering my kids from terrorist activity for a few years?


Anonymous said...

I'm there with you exactly. I told my kids yesterday was Patriot Day and we wore our flag shirts and red, white and blue. But then Adam comes home from kindergarten talking about the Twin Towers and the men who were evil and hurt lots of people. It was probably close to how I would have told him myself, but why does he need to know about it at 5? He hasn't asked much else, so I'm leaving it at that for now.

But yes, I'd much rather preserve their innocence and trust in all things good.


Anonymous said...

There is just no protecting them from that knowledge so I felt it was better for mine to hear it from me first. I asked her yesterday what did you learn and she said everything you told me. I would much rather preserve her innocence too but if it wasn't the teachers telling them it would be the older kids or the news or overhearing other adults talking about it. There is no avoiding or hiding what happened on September 11.

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