How to Educate Kids on September 11th

Find this coloring page @

I know we all probably have a distinct recollection of where we were on September 11th, 2011. So, I won't go into where I was or what I was doing. I will say that, for the rest of my life I will always know how those events that day changed things for our country and many of the people living in it.

Two of my three children had not yet come into the world (one of them had ten days til her debut). So, for them, they get the 9/11 memories and stories second hand.

I imagine that they get the gist though: terrorists, deaths, twin towers, New York City...

Today, if you're looking for ways to explain to your child what today is, and don't exactly know how, you might want to consider these ideas:

-Wait for them to ask (especially if they are young, and attend school- they will 'hear things' then have questions for you).

-Pray with them for the lives lost, the parentless children who are this world now trying to be positive for their future and hopefully going to grow up to also make a positive difference in the world as a result of it.

-Don't run to Youtube just jet. Talk about 9/11 first. Before you implant the horrific images of the planes entering the twin towers in New York City, take some time to discuss what happened to the people, what is going on with our country and educate them first on the topic/issues rather than making it about the visual drama and devastation. For younger kids, they worry easily and showing kids under the age of nine, these videos can needlessly add anxiety to their day (as will any other terrifying video). Today and every other 9/11 will be more for the memory of those who died rather than those who caused the destruction.

-Look for age appropriate books to read, based on the events of 9/11

-If your children are young enough, go to this website and print out the photo above and talk with them or allow them to ask questions while you color this candle and ribbon.

-Appreciate today. Hope for tomorrow, and remind your kids that terrorists (whether from another country or our own) are just bullies. And bullies don't deserve our fear.

This I'm sure will open up a whole bunch of other things to talk about.

On September 11th, 2001, I stared at the TV in shock, just like you did, probably wondering the same things...'What is this world coming to?' I had already decided to become a parent by then (my daughter was four). I patted my second daughter in my womb and thought that I absolutely might be crazy for I  having more children, but I had hope it would get better. I braved it again to have my third and last child a son.

Some days I carry on with my life and don't worry about the state of the world (those are the best days).
Other times, when I see violence, cruelty and poverty, I shake my head at the possibility that the next generations  might have it much worse than we do...

But, I can't stay there for long. I have to be their hope, I must be their light... and so are you.
We must instill the love of life and positive hopes for better days and use horrible events like these to teach and motivate us to be the change we want to see happen in the world.

Thank you for reading and peace be with those who lost their lives in the events of 9/11 and the families who were left to pick up the pieces and carry on.

Other Family Matter Blog Posts on September 11th 2001:

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