ENCINITAS, Calif. — Talking about the 9/11 terrorist attacks with children can be difficult for parents and teachers, but what is the best way to discuss that painful and poignant day with kids?
Experts say it is good to keep the conversation flowing and if you are not sure how to start, start by asking a question. The goal is to give context to what happened.
Psychologist Dr. Michael Lardon said teaching a new generation about 9/11 beings with questions.
“Really the best way to teach is to ask questions, [to] have the individual participate rather than a lecture,” he said.
That is what Meghan Tudor does during open discussion with her two sons, Wyatt and Sutton.
“I know it is weird for you guys because this was before you were born. What do you know about it Wyatt?” she tells them.
“Terrorists came and hijacked the plane a few years ago. They talked about it at school, but this year, not so much,” he answers his mother.
It is hard to expect a sixth grader to comprehend, but Sutton’s explanation is: “I do know it was like a terrorist attack.”
Dr. Lardon said it is important to keep the conversation flowing and age appropriate.
“The fundamental concept is to educate them, but still make sure they feel safe,” he said.
The Tudors have been traveling with their kids since they were little.
“I know you guys are used to taking the shoes off and having people go through our backpacks. It is crazy to think we did not have that before this happened,” she tells her sons.
Dr. Lardon advises parents to keep it simple. There is no need to go into every detail of the horrific events of that day. He advises share the basics my making it age appropriate.