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NFT: How to talk to children about 9/11

Bchurch : 9/11/2017 2:52 pm
There is some controversy in my son's pre-kindergarten class (4-5 year olds). Last week the teacher spoke to the children about 9/11 and explained that there were planes that crashed into the twin towers and brave firefighters went to the buildings to save people but some people died...

Well... at least one parent is very upset that the teacher talked about "death" and "planes crashing into buildings" and is considering pulling her child out of the class.

Has anyone dealt with this situation before? How young is too young to talk about these horrific events?
I don't shield my kid  
SHO'NUFF : 9/11/2017 2:56 pm : link
from the topics of death and evil. The parents should have told their kids first, before the teacher.
Your children  
Jolly Blue Giant : 9/11/2017 3:00 pm : link
Don't need to know about 9/11 at 4-5 years old. They can't grasp it.
That's a pretty lucky class of 4 and 5 year olds  
njm : 9/11/2017 3:00 pm : link
None of them has lost a grandparent or someone on their block? Those subjects will inevitably come up.

Sounds like a helicopter parent who resents not being in total control. Let them pulls the kid out.
I tell my kids the truth about 9/11 and everything else  
trueblueinpw : 9/11/2017 3:04 pm : link
Always have, always will. Sometimes I have to correct some of the ridiculous PC balderdash they hear at school but that's my job as a parent.
So pull the kid out then  
Motley Two : 9/11/2017 3:04 pm : link
but be sure to make a spectacle out of it as you do. Otherwise how will people know that you and your child are victims?

and then the problem gets worse when...  
jnoble : 9/11/2017 3:04 pm : link
..the kids will inevitably ask why somebody would do that which opens up a whole other pandoras box of relgion and regional politics and ethics and more politics etc etc etc....

If I were a teacher I'd try to avoid any of that and leave it to the parents.
Teacher should not have brought it up if no one asked  
giant24 : 9/11/2017 3:09 pm : link
and if the kids asked about she should have told them to speak to their parents.
.  
Britt in VA : 9/11/2017 3:13 pm : link
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Link - ( New Window )
I think kindergarten is too young  
Britt in VA : 9/11/2017 3:14 pm : link
.
I personally think 4-5 is too early for this topic at school  
Csonka : 9/11/2017 3:14 pm : link
At home you can do it whenever you feel it's time. Each kid is different. But I think schools should agree on a grade where it's no longer inappropriate. It's not for preschoolers.

Maybe 3rd grade on a broad level, not until 6th or so in real detail. My choice of grade is of course debatable, but there is obviously a cutoff somewhere.
That's a tough  
Pete in MD : 9/11/2017 3:15 pm : link
one. Of course it's an important moment in history and those who weren't alive when it happened should be made aware at some point but I agree that pre-K age might be a little too soon. I'm quite certain it wasn't discussed in my son's pre-K class last year and I seriously doubt they will say anything today in his Kindergarten class. My son's great-grandfather just passed away and he's not really grasping that. I doubt he would understand the magnitude of what happened on 9/11. So in that sense, you're not really teaching the kids anything. It's just a story to them at that point.

Would I pull my kid out of class? Probably not but I might have a conversation with the teacher. Just to understand the reasoning behind it all. Early-Ed teachers have a tough job. In addition to teaching our children, they are also surrogate parents for a few hours every day and they have to make parent-like decisions that often don't have guidelines.
It seems unnecessary  
BlackLight : 9/11/2017 3:16 pm : link
What other awful historical events does the school go out of its way to address for kids that age?
I agree pre-K  
pjcas18 : 9/11/2017 3:20 pm : link
is probably earlier than I'd like a "stranger" educating my 4-year old on a difficult topic.

I don't think I'd yank my child from the school if they enjoyed it, nor would I raise a huge issue because of it, but I'd prefer at the age education and hard topic conversation come from me and not a preschool teacher.


i agree  
lightemup : 9/11/2017 3:43 pm : link
pre-k kindergarten is too young for this. You're not there to learn about these topics at this age. I remember 3rd grade was the first time in a class there was a remembrance of the holocaust
Thanks for all the feedback, guys...  
Bchurch : 9/11/2017 3:44 pm : link
I'm conflicted...it's a tough subject and getting other perspectives helps. No way would I pull my kid out, that is not necessary but I would prefer the teacher didn't get into these details without at least first consulting parents.
RE: .  
njm : 9/11/2017 3:55 pm : link
In comment 13594505 Britt in VA said:
Quote:
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Their description of what is taught, actually not taught, at the middle school and high school level is truly disturbing.
putting aside  
Enzo : 9/11/2017 4:01 pm : link
whether it's appropriate or not at that age (it's not), what's the point in telling them? What does a 4 year old possibly gain from learning about 9/11 or any other horrific historical event?
That parent who pulled their child  
WideRight : 9/11/2017 4:08 pm : link
is going to be really upset later in life when they realize they raised a coddled, useless mensch.
What kids are told  
WideRight : 9/11/2017 4:13 pm : link
and what kids learn, are two very different things. I will ask mine tonight what they know about 9/11.

Last night I spent a half hour arguing about whether the moon landings were real or fake.
My kids were 1,3 and 5 when 9-11 happened  
Eli Wilson : 9/11/2017 4:27 pm : link
The older two sort of grasped what was happening (we were all home that day watching live on TV) and asked us lots of questions. We just answered them the best we could.

The youngest (she was 18 months old) was afraid to watch any coverage about 9-11 until she was about 10 years old.

Just try to gauge what to do about how you think each of your kids would react. You know them best.
In 2017,  
Beezer : 9/11/2017 4:30 pm : link
why in the fuck would anyone feel compelled to tell a 4- or 5-year-old anything at all about September 11, 2001?

Just really stupid.
Basics are fine in kindergarden  
Deej : 9/11/2017 4:31 pm : link
But 2nd grade at the earliest to tell them that Jews got advanced warning. 8th grade is when you tell them that burning jet fuel cant melt steel.
And it's a little different if kids are living through it ...  
Beezer : 9/11/2017 4:31 pm : link
but no ... the 3- and 5-year-old did NOT grasp it as it was happening.

SMH
church ...  
Beezer : 9/11/2017 4:34 pm : link
what are you conflicted about, exactly?

No teacher should be telling kids that age anything about
"planes crashing into buildings"

Come on folks. Why do so many people think very young children NEED to face reality?Jesus Christ, can't they be little kids and have fun for a few years? LOL FUCK! Shit gets real fast enough.
RE: And it's a little different if kids are living through it ...  
Eli Wilson : 9/11/2017 4:34 pm : link
In comment 13594650 Beezer said:
Quote:
but no ... the 3- and 5-year-old did NOT grasp it as it was happening.

SMH


Thanks for clarifying
RE: That's a tough  
Beezer : 9/11/2017 4:36 pm : link
In comment 13594512 Pete in MD said:
Quote:
one. Of course it's an important moment in history and those who weren't alive when it happened should be made aware at some point but I agree that pre-K age might be a little too soon. I'm quite certain it wasn't discussed in my son's pre-K class last year and I seriously doubt they will say anything today in his Kindergarten class. My son's great-grandfather just passed away and he's not really grasping that. I doubt he would understand the magnitude of what happened on 9/11. So in that sense, you're not really teaching the kids anything. It's just a story to them at that point.

Would I pull my kid out of class? Probably not but I might have a conversation with the teacher. Just to understand the reasoning behind it all. Early-Ed teachers have a tough job. In addition to teaching our children, they are also surrogate parents for a few hours every day and they have to make parent-like decisions that often don't have guidelines.


The principal and/or superintendent of schools ought to have a conversation with a teacher who tells kids who are 4 and 5 about airplanes crashing into buildings and people dying. LOLOLOL JESUS CHRIST PEOPLE!!! That's a teacher which piss-poor judgment!!!
RE: RE: And it's a little different if kids are living through it ...  
Beezer : 9/11/2017 4:36 pm : link
In comment 13594660 Eli Wilson said:
Quote:
In comment 13594650 Beezer said:


Quote:


but no ... the 3- and 5-year-old did NOT grasp it as it was happening.

SMH



Thanks for clarifying


It's my pleasure.

Jesus.
The teacher should be fired....  
JerrysKids : 9/11/2017 6:31 pm : link
4 and 5 year old children should not have to think about that shit. Unbelievable, what else does the teacher tell the children? I would be very concerned.
RE: That parent who pulled their child  
Giants_ROK : 9/11/2017 7:41 pm : link
In comment 13594601 WideRight said:
Quote:
is going to be really upset later in life when they realize they raised a coddled, useless mensch.

"useless mensch"?

I don't think you know what a mensch is.
That's definitely young  
UConn4523 : 9/11/2017 8:08 pm : link
but the teacher should be smart enough to get approval to discuss such a topic. If it was approved by the school then a slip should have went out to parents asking for their approval. It's just common sense.

I'm not going to shield my child from that stuff, but at that age it should be up to the parent to decide when and how the subject is discussed.
Are these 4-5 year olds studying the Holocaust next week?  
Tesla : 9/11/2017 8:31 pm : link
What's the urgent need to explain terrorism to a 4 year old? What the fuck are they supposed to do with that information.

My kids are 7, 6, 5 and 2....and as far as I know none of them know about 9/11. If they ask me about it I wouldn't hide it from them, but there is zero purpose in force-feeding it to them.
In 2001, the president and congress  
eclipz928 : 9/11/2017 9:44 pm : link
made 9/11 a national holiday (Patriot Day) which has forced most schools to have to observe it as part of their curriculum.

My wife teaches 1st grade, and hates that she has to talk about this subject every year. 4, 5, 6, even 7 is probably too young to be talking about these sort of topics - but can't blame the teacher for that.
Many schools observe moments  
mikeygiants : 9/11/2017 9:56 pm : link
of silence on 9/11. I could see an elementary school taking part in this tradition starting with an announcement using the term 9/11 and a curious student asking "what's 9/11?". The response is the problem. The teacher could have said, "it is a very important day when people are remembered in September."

Deej, I'm not going to show my kids Loose Change until they're out of first grade. Seriously that was hilarious.
I tell my son the truth as well as I know it about everything if he  
SoDev : 9/11/2017 11:28 pm : link
asks. I want him to learn everything from me first. I don't think there is much reason to talk to 5 and under about it unless they keep asking questions and are very interested in it for some reason. I would have told my son about it if he wanted to know. I don't think kindergarten and under is the right time for a teacher make it a lesson, but if a kid asked and she was just giving a general outline I wouldn't mind.

The part about death doesn't bother me, that is just silly. The sooner kids learn that they and others aren't immortal the better. Would the parent be mad if they talked about Abraham Lincoln... it all really depends on how it came about and what exactly was said.
I have a daughter in preschool, she's my first child  
j_rud : 9/12/2017 12:29 am : link
We don't shield or coddle her, and have had to address difficult topics over the past year. This has included the death of 2 grandparents and another grandparents battle with lung cancer. We haven't had the luxury of coddling or shielding her. Life happens. But I would not be happy to learn this was discussed in her pre-school class. At that age it's the parents right to have (or to not have) that conversation. I wouldn't pull her out of the class, but I'd have a conversation with the school and ask to be notified if things like this were going to be discussed. At least give me the chance to talk with her about it first.
Things Change Quickly...  
mvftw : 9/12/2017 10:33 am : link
During the day I remembered my friend that was buried at 9/11...then last night I became a grandfather to twins...so now my 9/11's will be very different...
Why are we still talking about it?  
x meadowlander : 9/12/2017 10:54 am : link
It was 16 years ago. Talking to children about 9/11 = Talking to Children about Pearl Harbor or the cold war.

I don't recall having the trauma of WW2 discussed with me when I was a kid.

If you weren't directly impacted, it's time to move on.
Jesus Christ, x ...  
Beezer : 9/12/2017 11:15 am : link
You're so far off base there, I can't even believe it. Hoping for a "kidding."
That said ...  
Beezer : 9/12/2017 11:16 am : link
again, 4 year olds and 5 year olds should be "worried about" who their friends are, what games they'll play next, what the family is doing tonight, this weekend, etc.
RE: The teacher should be fired....  
Beezer : 9/12/2017 11:18 am : link
In comment 13594800 JerrysKids said:
Quote:
4 and 5 year old children should not have to think about that shit. Unbelievable, what else does the teacher tell the children? I would be very concerned.


Would only agree with "fired" if there was a pattern of similar shitty judgment.

Teacher might be 23, and honestly? Some 23-year-olds are fucking useless, even with a degree in their hands.
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