9/11 Anniversary – don’t teach kids hate
The ten year anniversary of that tragic day in America is making a big mark in the media and in hearts of people everywhere. In some cases, there are kids who have never seen pictures of that day, too young to have known what was happening. I read an article the other day where a teacher had kids in his social studies class who had never seen footage, he decided to show them. I am not saying I agree with that decision. As an adult I am still traumatized by what I witnessed that day. As a mom, it is my job to teach my child what happened that tragic morning.
When 9/11 happened, many Muslims (not just in America) faced incredible backlash and hate. While a few extremists committed an atrocious crime, an entire ethnicity paid the price. Many moms, like Cindy Sheehan are angry and teach others to hate. In her case, she is teaching others to hate America. We saw further evidence of anger and hate when the intention to build a Mosque near ground near zero received nationwide criticism and backlash. So if parents still feel angry or kids are watching talking heads on T.V speak with anger and hate about 9/11, what is your role as a single mom to filter that?
Explain to your children that the people responsible for the attacks were filled with hate. Teach your kids that there are people from all over the world, some with religion and some without that are filled with hate and not love. If possible, avoid television that replays images from the attacks. Some kids will be too young and it will be traumatizing. Others might be scared that it will happen again, as in tomorrow. As a parent, you must decide what topic is age appropriate. But you must ensure that your kids walk away knowing that some very radical and hate filled people committed a horrific act. Make sure your kids know that all people from the Islam religion are not filled with hate.
Language of Love
Teach your children that love brings about peace. Give your children opportunities to show love. Talk about what it means to love others. Give examples of love, perhaps a neighbor is sick. Have your child make a get well card. Make sure there are many times for your child to see what love looks like. It is also critically important that you remind your children and respect and tolerance. Teach your children to respect and tolerate different religions and differences of opinions.
Show your children how they can be prepared but not constantly worried. Explain that there are bad people out there and we need to watch our surroundings, but there are also far more good people who want peace and not hate. Make sure your children understand that you love them very much and so do a lot of people. But also explain that there are certain things they need to do to keep safe.
Lastly, remind your kids that when others speak hate filled words about those who attacked America on 9/11, it is ok to stand up and remind them, that not everyone is like that. Remind them to spread love and not hate.
More sites for talking to your kids about 9/11: