September 11th for the Next Generation

TechyDad and I were married in June of 2001. Little did we know that just a few months later the world would forever change. I have written about September 11, 2001 many times before. I wrote about the classroom I was teaching in, the way we told the children, not knowing if my husband’s best friend in NYC was ok, and having trouble getting in touch with my father-in-law.

Eleven years later, my heart still breaks thinking about that day and how the world stopped for so many families who lost loved ones. Trying to wrap your head around that is hard, even if you lived through it. Now imagine the new generation of children like my boys who do not recall this day and only know life with all of the day to day security changes. This is the reality that many of us face today on this remembrance day and beyond. How will we tell future generations about why we pause, stop, and will never forget?

News shows are way too frightening for young children to watch. They are surreal and disturbing even to those that watched it eleven years ago. While out shopping recently, something caught my eye in the children’s book section.

September 11th book for children

Books on this topic are a great way to introduce the subject matter and can be done for different age levels. The book above is part of a series of historical fiction books by Lauren Tarshis that target events that changed history (Titanic, Hurricane Katrina, Pearl Harbor, and more). We have not read these books, but I hope to check this one out soon to see if it would be a good read aloud to use with my son. You may also read an excerpt of the book on the I Survived page from Scholastic

We definitely need our children to know what happened on that horrific day, but we need to make sure it is developmentally appropriately. With books and lessons plans like the ones featured on Albany Kid, teachers and parents can begin to plan how they will approach this tough topic. I know that this is something TechyDad and I really need to think about with our son in fourth grade.

Of course, I still think back to my post from last year. One of the best things to come out of this tragedy was the renewed American Spirit. Red, White, and Blue Pride was all over the country. Perhaps this is something that younger children can embrace and we can show them until they are old enough to learn more about the other items. One day, they too will see the videos and know just why that day forever changed the United States of America.

American flag for hope

If you have talked to your children about September 11, 2001 – please weigh in on how you approached this topic. I think we can use this day as a day of learning and remembrance to help one another.

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