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  #1  
Old 09-07-2010, 12:25 PM
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Default September 11th - Remembrance Activities?

So this will be my first September doing childcare and I'd really like to do some sort of remembrance activity for September 11th on Friday. I was thinking of something very simple like this...

http://www.abcteach.com/free/b/bookmarks_sept11.pdf

Just have them color them and then I'll cut and laminate for them to go home.

I just don't know how to explain what happened to a group of 3/4yr olds without it being too scary.

I want to present it in a positive way to show how strong and resislent we are as a people. Our country came together and everyone took care of everyone...sending food, money, clothing, water, etc. to take care of those that were hurt, tired and in need and of course all the support from the police, fire and medical workers but how do I gloss over the attacks?? Or should it just be a quick mention that there are sometimes people out there that want to hurt other people but that as a country and group we are good caring people that watch out for each other and are there in times of great need.

Is anyone else doing something to remember the attacks? How are you going about it?
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:36 PM
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I am doing patriotic music during music time and some books and color pages to honor soldiers, firefighters and police. I do tell the truth, albeit very gently- with no videos or graphic images which are so detrimental and scary. But let them know there are bad guys out there, but in our country we have a volunteer military, police, firefighters and EMT's that protect us and that we should be so thankful and proud.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:48 PM
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This is a very good question..I have one book that is very easy for the kids to understand (it was written by kids) about September 11th. It is called September 12th: We Knew Everything would be Alright. It is on Amazon.com, but I can't remember where we got it, right after September 11th happened.. Anyway, other than that, I do what the previous poster said: learn about military, firefighters, EMTs, etc. I don't explain things in great detail to the kids because, like you said, it's pretty scary! But this book is GREAT, and really helps me out. Good luck!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:50 PM
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This is a very good question..I have one book that is very easy for the kids to understand (it was written by kids) about September 11th. It is called September 12th: We Knew Everything would be Alright. It is on Amazon.com, but I can't remember where we got it, right after September 11th happened.. Anyway, other than that, I do what the previous poster said: learn about military, firefighters, EMTs, etc. I don't explain things in great detail to the kids because, like you said, it's pretty scary! But this book is GREAT, and really helps me out. Good luck!!
I'm heading to Amazon right now!! Thanks!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:25 PM
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Oh yes 9/11/2001. That school year I had the BEST preschool class I EVER had. They were the most smartest, nicest, well mannered children!

I, too, wanted to talk to them about that day. I had to. One of my little students brought it up. She told everyone ALL about Osama. She said Osama was a bad man. Blah blah blah.

Well I had a circle of 15 little kids just staring at me wide eyed. I had to explain to them very gently that while there ARE indeed bad people in our world, there are even more GOOD people who are fighting and protecting us.

After I talked about the military, one of the boys took me aside and was scared that I was going to leave. I had to explain to him that is why we need the military etc to protect. I also had to reassure him and the other children that I wasn't going to leave.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:48 PM
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I honestly would not brooch the subject with children who have not actually experienced it. They are not inquisitive about it and it's a piece of history that they will learn about when they are old enough to understand the magnitude of it. I'd only talk about it if a child started talking about it, or if they were experiencing similiar trauma in their immediate lives.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:57 PM
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I honestly would not brooch the subject with children who have not actually experienced it. They are not inquisitive about it and it's a piece of history that they will learn about when they are old enough to understand the magnitude of it. I'd only talk about it if a child started talking about it, or if they were experiencing similiar trauma in their immediate lives.
I totally agree!! It's a very scary event that happened before they were even born. I don't know how you could put enough of a positive spin on it (how safe we are now, etc (which, btw, we really aren't, it could happen again. It would be a lot harder to do now, but it's still possible)) without scaring the crap right out of them. My 13 yo son still gets scared when he thinks about it, so how can we expect littles to understand and be okay with it?

When it happened, my children were 4, 6 and 9. Even though it happened during school hours, the school staff chose not to say anything about what was happening to the children except that something happened far away and to ask their parents what happened, so we, as parents, could choose how much we wanted our children to know, based on what we thought they could handle. I thought the school was RIGHT ON for doing that. At that point, I would not have been happy if they explained what was happening to my young children, because I know they would not have handled it well. Nor did I feel they needed to know everything about that day. Since then, we have watched the documentaries, and talked at length about what happened, why, who, etc, but that was when they were a lot older and could understand it a lot better and not be terrified of it (any more than the rest of us were, anyway).

I may be in the minority here, but I would not want my dcp telling my kids about 9/11, not any aspect of it. If I thought they were old enough to hear it, they would have already been told. Personally I would talk to parents before doing a program like that. Actually, personally, I would not do a program like that with such small kids. I would probably do a "salute to servicemen/women" including military, emt, fire/rescue,police, etc, to honor those who gave their lives and risked their lives to help out 9/11 but I wouldn't bring up the why of that day.

My 2 cents
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:42 AM
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i agree with marniewon and crystal.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:07 AM
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I would not bring it up or discuss it. My own children were in elementary school when this happened, and I was not happy at all when they came home and said they watched it throughout the day in school, some things should be left up to the parents to decide whether or not their children are put in contact with certain situations. The school had no right to make that choice for me.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:35 AM
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I let families know ahead of time- assuming they are so liberal and oblivious that they no longer give a crap about 9-11 and don't ask me themselves. I was in the hospital after having my son, and losing his twin, that day, watching it on the news in my hospital bed. Within a week, before being allowed to drive after surgery my husband was shipped off, and was gone more than home the next several years, while I ran the daycare and did everything alone. During that time I took a lot of special trainings on military family issues because I worked with our CCR&R to start Operation Military Childcare,and donated over 300 hrs to miltary families. I teach classes for other providers on how to provide supportive care to children in military families. I am very good at not imparting information in a way to frighten children- but they know bad guys exist- it's better to address it positively and in the right way than to leave them in the dark-instinctively aware of dangers, or exposed accidentally to TV and movies portraying violence in their home life, but not reassured in any deliberate way. For that reason patriotism is an intrinsic part of our daycare and our home, both as an essential element of training children in both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the history of our nation neccessary to social responsibility as adults, but as a support to the families I care for- mostly soldier's or ex-soldiers children, or the children of law enforcement.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carole's Daycare View Post
I let families know ahead of time- assuming they are so liberal and oblivious that they no longer give a crap about 9-11 and don't ask me themselves.
There are many, many liberals (myself included) that definitely still do care about the attacks and feel blessed and appreciative for all the rescuers/military during that horrible time through the present. Let's please not stereotype a very large and equally diverse group of people.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:57 AM
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No offense to every "liberal". Here at home, the same Coalition for Peace group that used their constitutional right fought and paid for by soldiers to legitimately voice protest over our involvement in wars in the Middle East also paraded coffins with draped flags and "bloody" banners and shouted foulness reminiscent of the vilification of our Vietnam vets when they came home right down main street in our 4th of July parade, in front of the children of soldiers who had served or where currently on deployment. That was frightening and offensive. When my kids wore T-shirts proudly displaying pics of their dady, a soldier- we were subjected to detailed and vitriolic outbursts about what a criminal their daddy was- while as a mom I needed , and muy kids needed, to hear that he was gone for a good reason- doing the right thing, as a hero- regardless of anyones politivcal beliefs or idealogy, the kids needed to believe it was a worthy sacrifice to have him gone, and that we, too, were serving in our own way. I am more than a touch sensitive on the subject because of our personal experiences with the more liberal members of our community.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:30 AM
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Carole, while I understand your issue and sensitivity to topics pertaining to the mistreatment/disrespect of our soldiers, I do not understand at all how it relates to the appropriateness of discussing such issues with young children that are not our own. While I applaud your family for enduring hubby/dad being at war, and I stand to applaud your husband for his service to our Country, I do not think it is developmentally appropriate to discuss traumatic issues with children who are not witnessing or experiencing trauma in some way.

And, I agree that it is unfair of you to assume that any liberal here would behave in the manner in which you describe.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:01 AM
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And I had already previously stated what we do here, which also clearly didn't specifically discuss or portray those events, only in most general terms that we have firefighters, police, soldiers, EMT's that have and do keep us safe- although some of the kids here may specifically refer to 9-11, as their families may observe or participate in their own or church's remembrance ceremony given the demographic. Also I have children here, including my own, up to 9ys old- so older children come home from school with papers and bring it up etc. Refusing to respond entirely, kind of like how people react to various sexual questions or behaviors, creates the wrong impression. And I stand by my original statements- it doesnt and didnt characterize all liberals- simply references my personal experience with the more vitriolic and unpleasant ones I have encountered. In my experience the vast majority of people involved in social work and education fields that I work with and encounter professionally consider themselves "liberal" and we work together quite well. Just as "conservative republican" has a specific negative connotation in some circles, while encompassing a wide variety of individuals - Both terms encompass both extreme and moderate viewpoints and decent and unacceptable ways to express those views. I typically disagree with both groups periodically, depending on the subject/situation. Not all conservatives are religious fanatical fat rich businessmen, and not all liberals are cop hating long haired patchouli smelling pot smokers. I am aware of that. And to poke fun at my brother- not all Libertarians in New Hampshire are members of a militia and stockpile ammo. And since its a free country- so far, at least, I can have my own opinion about whether its hugely damaging to say to a 4 or 5 yr old- Today, on Sept 11th, or today, on Veterans Day, or today, 4th of July- we honor our soldiers- or firefighters or police, or our fallen heroes, who died for our country- on Sept 11th, on D-Day, in the Revolutionary or Civil War etc. They were defending us or the world against evil- or Osama, or Hitler, or every mans right to be free. I doubt that sentence will cause nightmares if playing violent games and watching regular TV doesn't.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:05 AM
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before we moved farther upstate 3 years ago, we lived about a hour from NYC. many of our friends and neighbors commute daily to NYC for work. we lost two friends on 9/11, one whom worked in tower one, and one who was a NYC firefighter. another close neighbor missed his train that morning, and no doubt, angels were watching over him that day. the importance of remembering 9/11 is very close to my heart, however, i still feel it is one of those topics best left to the parents. to me, its no different then teaching religion or sexuality. i just dont feel it is my place. like crystal said, i dont feel it is developmentally appropriate to discuss traumatic events with 3 and 4 year olds (whom are not my own children). JMO, of course.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:13 AM
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And, I agree that it is unfair of you to assume that any liberal here would behave in the manner in which you describe.
Where did I even suggest that anyone here would behave that way? How did me saying I observe the day, and sharing my own experience, become a perceived attack on any individual here? How did me saying I observe with color pages and a patriotic song equal sharing traumatic events with small children to scare them like I'm the bogeyman?
So lets not discuss on Martin Luther King Day that in our history our country wasn't very nice to black people, and that people were so angry when people tried to change that that people were hurt, and he was killed, and that its important to learn from that and from MLK that all kids are great and we should be nice and be friends with everybody? That's scary. Or the 4th of July, or any other observance that has, at its root, our nations violent history.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:27 AM
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I agree that the details of what happened Sept. 11th should be left up to the parents to discuss to their own children. I don't plan on doing any activities in DC for the kids about Sept. 11th (most are under the age of 2 anyway) but if I did I believe that I would only do activities related to those like Veteran's Day (celebrating the sacrifice that our military makes for us) and of course adding EMT's, doctor's, nurses, fire fighters, policemen etc. (the people that make us safe). It would be more of a celebration thanking people in these fields for what they do for us and our communities. I wouldn't broach the subject of the details about Sept. 11th but I would encourage friendship and peace and helping each other. Talking about different people in the world and tolerance/acceptance of other people's likes/dislikes would be another good topic. Singing songs about friendship, differences in people etc. would also be a great choice for the younger kids. There are lots of ways of honoring those that sacrificed on Sept. 11th without talking about bombs, planes, death and violence.

As a note: Martin Luther King Jr is taught in K and 1st Grade much like I have suggested above. By singing songs about friendships, reading simple books about him that say that he wanted people to get along etc. Schools don't usually get deep into prejudice and the violence surrounding his life/death and that time until middle school, at least in my area. I think it's safe to say that I don't think that people are saying not to remember what happened and not to teach about it (Sept. 11th) but only to keep in mind the age groups that we have and to do something appropriate much like how schools teach about Martin Luther King Jr.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:41 AM
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I agree that the details of what happened Sept. 11th should be left up to the parents to discuss to their own children. I don't plan on doing any activities in DC for the kids about Sept. 11th (most are under the age of 2 anyway) but if I did I believe that I would only do activities related to those like Veteran's Day (celebrating the sacrifice that our military makes for us) and of course adding EMT's, doctor's, nurses, fire fighters, policemen etc. (the people that make us safe). It would be more of a celebration thanking people in these fields for what they do for us and our communities. I wouldn't broach the subject of the details about Sept. 11th but I would encourage friendship and peace and helping each other. Talking about different people in the world and tolerance/acceptance of other people's likes/dislikes would be another good topic. Singing songs about friendship, differences in people etc. would also be a great choice for the younger kids. There are lots of ways of honoring those that sacrificed on Sept. 11th without talking about bombs, planes, death and violence.
Thanks. I'm glad someone sees that we can honor the day without specific info about traumatic events. I may incorporate your ideas about activities promoting tolerance amongst different peoples of the world etc. as well.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:47 AM
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How did me saying I observe the day, and sharing my own experience, become a perceived attack on any individual here?
I think it was possibly this statement that you made in your original post that started some of the discussion...

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assuming they are so liberal and oblivious that they no longer give a crap about 9-11
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:14 AM
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That was referring to the possibility of having clients/parents who are oblivious of the day and it wouldn't occur to them that there is even a possibility to honor the day, much less question how to appropriately do so. Totally didn't refer to providers or anyone here. This being a forum I have no personal knowledge of the individuals here. There are a few folks like that out there- I have definately met people who don't give a crap and want it forgotten or vociferously argue its our fault or use it as an opportunity to bash Bush or get into some heated argument as opposed to a tragedy that should have pulled us all together, and for a time, seemed to. Unfortunately, the few I have met fall under the as already agreed vast and varied group of people including wonderful people who consider themselves liberal in the political scene. I haven't met a conservative republican who does that, though there may be some. Not to mention the conspiracy theorists & such who claim it didn't happen- not the same folks who say the holocaust didnt happen....or wear tin foil in their hats and visit Roswell....
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:09 AM
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On Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day for US?), we have the phrase "Lest we forget" on everything -- wreaths, banners, posters, newspapers, etc. The reason is that if we don't remember the bad things that have happened, and the sacrifice that so many souls have made for our freedom, we may not be willing to make that sacrifice ourselves, if called upon.

I totally respect those of you who are looking for a way to remember 9/11. It was a tragic, tragic event, and so many people gave so much of themselves during, and for months afterwards (to say nothing of those who gave their own lives). I wouldn't want to get into the death and carnage of it with preschoolers either, but celebrating the military, police officers, fire fighters, etc, because of the amazing job they did on 9/11 is something I would definitely do. It's so important for kids to become familiar with our history (and yours!), and there's no reason why you shouldn't give them that opportunity.

And who knows, those parents that don't care to remember, may have the chance to reconsider their complacency. After all, the ability to look beyond oneself to recognize the sacrifices that others make on our behalf is part of the maturing process. Maybe we, as caregivers, can help BOTH children and their parents on that process
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:22 PM
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I think it depends on how much that day impacted your life & surroundings. My children were very young when 9/11 happened and we lived only about 20 or so miles away. That day was so distressing that many moms & dads pulled their kids out of school right away.... including me. Our town lost a good amount of people and many volunteered at ground zero (including my husband). My husband is still there working on the Freedom Towers. So where I live, it is still a very big deal.

During the weeks after, most of our schools did go into detail explaining what happened because so many children were going home and seeing those graphic scary pictures on every tv channel. Since many children were affected by that day, it was understandable to commemorate the following anniversaries (even for the kindergartners). But those kids have grown up and I think today's toddlers don't need to be told by their teacher - it would be like explaining Pearl Harbor to a 4 or 5 year old. I don't believe that they could even understand the concept of it. They can learn about it when they are a little older. Some families commemorate it more than others because it has touched them personally, so I'd leave it up to them.
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