So I went to pick up my 6 year old son from school today....
When I got into the gym, all of the kids were sitting in a circle as their "group time." My son usually is glad to see me and runs towards me regardless of the topic or what he is doing when I come to pick him up. Today he didn't. All of the kids had their hands raised and were eager to ask questions.
I sat down and listened to the discussion. The YMCA instructor called on my son, and the questions he asked was, "Did they try to control the plane so it wouldn't crash?".....................................................
Yep. They were discussing 9/11. I had thought about it being 9/11 today, but I hadn't planned to talk to my 6 year old about it.
When they were done my son had a lot of questions. I answered them to the best of my ability. They were profound questions. So I was very open with him and we discussed it at length.
It's very coincidental. Just last night I had the first conversation with my son about drugs. That was spurred on because we see our neighbors do drugs. When we got home our neighbor was high on meth, sitting on our steps blocking the way up to our apartment. I decided to use the opportunity to tell my son about drugs, and to tell him to not engage with this neighbor.
It was WAY easier to talk to my 6 year old about drugs than to explain the complexities of 9/11.
I think the hardest question to answer was, "Why did they do it?" and "What is a terrorist?" When I tried to explain they were acting based on a religion - "What's a religion?"....When I explained they believed in the Koran, "What's the Koran?".....Every question led to a million questions. I was happy to answer to the best of my ability, but the fact is it's just too much to explain to a 6 year old in a single conversation. It's not something I WANTED to talk about with him today.
Part of me is a little upset that the YMCA instructor had this conversation with the kids. I suppose my frustration is the fact that my son is ONLY 6! But there were kids all the way up to the 6th grade in the before/after school program. It was undoubtedly spurred on my perhaps the questions of the older kids. But I sort of wish he had said, "You need to talk to your parents about it."
Now my son has a TON of questions about this topic.
I'm wondering if you all have any advice on how to explain the Koran, terrorism, 9/11, and suicide bombers to a 6 year old. He already knows what he heard from the other kids....
Any insight would be helpful.
It's sort of funny. Last school year there was a school shooting near us. I was afraid that THAT would be hard to explain. It turned out no one at school talked about it, so I didn't have to address it. But I didn't think I would have to explain to my 6 year old about terrorism, religion, and death all in the same day.
Should I be angry about the YMCA instructor talking to the kids about this? I am. A little. But maybe it's just a lesson to get to have these talks about religion with my son now.
Now I feel like I NEED to start talking with him about religion. But I don't know how! He's 6!!
Any advice is welcome. Thanks.