The Sept 11th terrorist incident was very upsetting to my child, how should I handle the upcoming anniversary?
Talk with your child when she seems interested, letting her finish her thoughts and sentences. It may be tempting to finish them for her, but hearing all that she has to say shows that you value her thoughts and feelings. If you are too busy to give your child your full attention, set a time when you can talk and listen comfortably - and keep the appointment.
Talk openly and honestly while keeping in mind your child's age and level of development. Young children, especially, can be frightened by too many details. Use language your child can understand and don't be afraid to say, "I don't know" if you don't know the answer to your child's question. Let your child know that sometimes things happen that are confusing to adults, too, and reassure your child that you will always try to keep her safe. Talk with each child individually, if possible. This helps to meet their different needs for information and keep any one child from taking over the conversation.
Warmline Available for Parents and Teachers Call 1-800-552-8522
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