Ideas from local experts on talking with kids about 9/11

Photo by Anthony Fomin used by permission via Unsplash.

With the 20th anniversary upon us this weekend, you may be wondering how to talk with your kids about 9/11. You may even be planning to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville this weekend.

It can be hard to decide how much to say or how to describe what happened. As a native New Yorker who was partially raising my kids in and around New York City, I was surprised at how difficult it was to discuss it when my kids were small.

So the Kidsburgh team thought it might be helpful to draw together some of the good advice from local experts and from our national partner Common Sense Media.

  • Mary Margaret Kerr, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and Pitt’s Department of Psychiatry, works with her team to improve the experiences children have when they visit places like the Flight 93 memorial. You can read about her research here
  • This TribLive story offers insight from local teachers who rely on the Flight 93 National Memorial and their own personal experiences to teach about 9/11.
  • Our friends at Common Sense Media created this helpful guide about explaining difficult and disturbing news to kids.

We also thought it might be helpful to share these Associated Press news stories — one about how misinformation and the passage of time make teaching kids about 9/11 complicated and another about remembering 9/11, especially through visits to places like Shanksville.

However you may spend this weekend, we hope it’s a peaceful one for your family.