Should I let my children watch television on Sept 11th when they are replaying the destruction of the World Trade Centers?
Repeatedly watching disaster footage can be disturbing to anyone, not just children. Try to plan which programs your family will watch. Planning ahead gives you time to decide whether programs are in your child's best interest. It also gives you a chance to plan your family's schedules so that you can watch adult programs, such as the news, without your child. Unless you keep the television completely off during the day, you will see some information about Sept. 11th. Already many television stations have announced some of the types of shows they will be showing-commemorations, historical shows, patriotic shows, documentaries, and so forth.
Don't just leave the TV on. Choose programs that will provide the information or experiences that will be educational or healing experiences for your family. Think about including programming geared toward your child's age and level of development. Talking with your child about the programs you watch will help you to connect as a family and clear up confusing information. This is an important time to talk about safety, war, peace, forgiveness, and many other issues.
Warmline Available for Parents and Teachers
If you have concerns about children you care for related to the 9-11
Anniversary or any other stressful event, please contact ParentLink at the
University of Missouri. ParentLink provides a warmline that is answered by
professionals who are willing to talk through stressful issues:
ParentLink can help parents deal with issues related to discipline, sexuality, special health needs and much more. You can reach ParentLink by calling 1-800-552-8522 (M-F, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm) or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sandi Lillard, MSW, LCSW, ParentLink, 4-H, University of Missouri Kimberly Downs, MS, CFLE, ParentLink, 4-H, University of Missouri Kim Leon, Former Human Development & Family Studies, University of Missouri
Last update: Friday, September 14, 2007