#DadChat Discusses How to Explain EVIL to Our Kids – 9/11

Category: #DadChat

9:11 with Statue of LIberty

September 11, 2001 — I remember it VERY WELL. I think most adults do. A friend called and said to turn on the TV. I did. I didn’t leave it for hours. My boys were 4 and 7. They were largely oblivious. I think school was cut short that day. I don’t remember. They didn’t understand or ask many questions. #DadChat this Thursday — September 11, 2014 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET — will talk about HOW to discuss/explain such huge world tragedies and EVIL to our children. It is NOT easy to do. We should NOT protect them fully from the world’s travails but age appropriate talk is important.

Iconic firemen photo of raising flag on 9:11 site

We are fortunate to have Dr. Jennifer Weberman as co-host for this tough topic at #DadChat.

Therapist Dr. Jennifer Weberman

Dr. Jennifer Weberman is a Psychologist and Parent Coach with a private practice in Springfield, NJ. She also leads parenting workshops, writes blogs, and even had a weekly segment on my radio show sharing her wisdom on all things related to creating healthy families. You can visit her on her blog at TheParentingPlayground or her website at TransformationsTherapyCenter.

For this #DadChat, I will invite everyone to share where they were on 9/11. I’m old enough to remember where I was when JFK was shot. For many 9/11 was the first time many had a collective shared memory/tragic event.

Some suggested tweets to invite friends and others to this week’s #DadChat:

~~ Where were you on 9/11? How to explain tragedy/evil to your kids at #DadChat Thursday

~~ How do you explain something like 9/11 to your kids? #DadChat tomorrow.

~~ Tonight #DadChat asks where were YOU on 9/11 and HOW can we possibly explain such evil/horror to our kids.

This week’s #DadChat transcript and stats

9:11 photo sequences

  • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

    What is evil? What is good?

    Is it what we say, feel and think is evil? Or good?

    If it’s up to us, it may be something this moment but something else in the next moment.

    Who are we to judge another? Because we have judged a person if we have judged their act? Or is the problematic only in the condemnation and objectification of the person?

    These questions are not contradictions to your prompt but, hopefully, they may help us to contemplate your prompt further.

    Recently on my blog:
    #BlogSoup 09.09.14

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      I love you @faryna:disqus – but it’s this sort of relativity thinking that is one of our biggest problems. Is ISIS evil? NO DOUBT. Is what Hamas did by building tunnels under schools and hospitals evil? NO DOUBT. Was Hitler evil? NO DOUBT. If we have NO standards of good and evil, then it is simply up to anyone to say yeah or nah. Sorry, there are standards of good and bad. Some things are gray, of course, but not these big things!

      • http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com Stan Faryna

        If someone does evil, are we free to destroy them?

        If someone willingly and enthusiastically associates or sympathizes with those who do evil, are we at liberty to slay them and cut them down like weeds – men, women and children?

        Again, what is evil?

        You know that I agree with you that relativistic thinking is problematic.

        You also know my position on good and evil. That God decides what is good and evil and what God does, whatever God does, is good and just even if it be terrible. This is something we can teach to children without exposing their minds and hearts to the profound and perverse examples of horror that evil has done or will do.

        What can we do about evil, however, remains a confusion to me.

        Moral relativity, on the other hand, is problematic because it is driven by humanistic, subjective and fickle sentiments. What is wrong today may be right, tomorrow and vice versa. It depends, moment by moment, on consensus, honesty, prudence, courage and justice. And lacking any of these (or just a part of this and that), it becomes confusion.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          Okay @faryna:disqus we are much more aligned than I feared. However, while we agree that God is the ultimate arbiter of good and evil, don’t you believe he’s given human beings the tools to combat it ON THIS EARTH now!?

  • Pingback: #BlogSoup 09.09.14 @wonderoftech @Nisha360 @MattoMcFly @startyournovel @emmasuzieq @geekyantics | The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna()

  • David W.

    I just don’t get too worked up about whether or not Person A thinks there is evil in the world and Person B thinks there is not…whether Person A is absolutist and Person B is relativist. For me what matters is: Where should we go from here? What are the strengths of your proposed solution? What, in my proposed solution, do you think are oversights or short-sightedness?
    If Person A and Person B agree that a certain action is to be taken in response to an event, and Person A supports that very action because it seems to be designed to fight evil, and Person B supports it because he or she sees it as designed to bring about an appealing alternative to current conditions, what matters to me is that the two people in question are congruent in the next steps they support.
    My favorite analogy for this draws from a book I read about European non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews in Europe during WW2. The story of many of the persons profiled was a story of humanitarian concerns, a sense of being brothers and sisters underneath religious differences, and a desire to stand up to the evils of Hitlerism. One fellow, though, who had rescued or hidden or otherwise saved a fair number of Dutch or French Jews, I believe they were, had a different story. “I don’t particularly like Jews,” he declared. “I lived among them my whole life and never got on with them. But no one is going to come into my country and tell me what I am supposed to do with my Jews. So naturally, I did everything I could to save their lives.”
    So his actions were congruent with those of the most humane and more spiritual men and women, even though he wasn’t about fighting evil per se.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – we agree that IN THE END all that matters are the “right” actions! Words – as we’ve learned from the POTUS – are meaningless if not followed up with meaningful action(s)!

  • http://www.scientologyparent.com Tad (ScientologyDad)

    The indisputable fact of 9/11 is that, regardless of the perpetrators who planned and carried it out, it was an act of hatred, calculated to the last degree to beget the maximum amount of hatred in return. That hatred has been directed at religious groups, at nationalities, at political ideologies and at the general population. It’s made everyone into a terrorist, into someone who can’t be trusted, and into a potential threat. And further, by its insinuation that it was perpetrated by members of a fanatical religious group, it’s sown seeds of nihilism that have as their only goal, the undermining of the religious fabric of our world. If people don’t trust each other, don’t hang together and work together, they’re much easier to manipulate and control as individuals.

    And that was the gist of what I put together today, when I wrote up how I’d try to relate the events of 9/11 to my own kids: http://www.scientologyparent.com/what-will-i-tell-my-children-about-911/

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @tadscientologydad:disqus – I hope you’ll join us at #DadChat tonight – in ten minutes – and join the dialogue!