Those of you who have children, work with children or are around them frequently are faced with a difficult dilemma this week. How do we answer our children's questions about why the United States planed and carried out the death of Osama Bin Laden? How can we explain why people were chanting U-S-A at ball games and were cheering in the streets?
As Religious Liberals we aspire to face the world with love, to help and not harm, and this is what we try to teach our children. If you are like me, you are probably as confused as your children and ambivalent about how you feel about what happened and how people responded.
I don't have easy answers for you. It isn't an easy situation. I do recommend listening to your children. Answer questions to the best of your ability and if you change your mind about what you say, let your children know that because you thought more about it and have learned more, you think differently now -- it's a gift to your child to let them know that as adults we have the responsibility to change what we think based on new information. Also, ask your children what they are hearing at school and from friends. If what they are hearing does not agree with what you feel and believe, at least you will know and can add your point of view.
I have been reading several parenting blogs on the topic and I recommend the following ones to you:
Epic Parenting from May 2: http://www.epicparenting.com/teachable-moments/real-monster-closet-talking-kids-bin-ladens-death/
Today's Moms from May 2: http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/05/02/6571154-so-the-us-is-like-spider-man-and-bin-ladens-the-green-goblin-explaining-justice-and-revenge-to-kids
PHDin Parenting from May 3: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2011/05/03/kids-and-osama-bin-laden/
The Imperfect Parent from May 3: http://www.imperfectparent.com/topics/2011/05/03/bin-ladens-death-raises-unique-situation-for-children-teachers-parents/
As you read these blogs you will see you are not alone as you struggle with answering your children's questions. Take some time to deal with your own feelings and beliefs around this difficult topic. It will make it easier to talk to your children. There is no right answer. What you need to find is the best answer to comfort and support your children and that honors your beliefs, feelings and values.
May you find support from your church community as you walk this difficult path in parenting,
Posted on Tue, May 3, 2011
by Liz Jones