Kids Coping

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Psychologist Dr. Michael Cohen, president of the Michael Cohen Group, explains how we should talk about September 11th to children.


Michael Cohen

Comments [16]

mc from Brooklyn

The fact is that children were ringside for this event as were many of us and children are, sadly, ringside for many tragedies around the world. I am for telling them exactly what happened, as one could see on a video and explain to them who the 19 were and where they came from and the stated reason they had for doing this. Anything else is dishonest. Children are usually fearful if the adults around them are fearful. Children who lived through the blitz in London mirrored the reactions of the adults around them. Half-truths and sugar-coating leads to distrust and more half-formed fears.

Sep. 11 2008 12:03 PM
SF from NYC

No person should ever minimize what happened, but while we mourn our own heroes and victims of 9/11 lets also mourn the the people around the world who are now effected by what happened. Its all connected whether we want to admit it or not.

Sep. 11 2008 11:36 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

Wow, Joe. First of all, you have no idea who you're talking to, and who was where or whatever. This is a slap in the face to many of us. Secondly, please think about the hypocrisy of your supposed sympathy for those who died in the wars, coupled with your nonchalance for those who died in 9/11. THAT is insensitivity. If whining is honoring folks who die tragically for one day out of the year, then I totally agree that I am complete whining cry-baby.

Sep. 11 2008 11:35 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

I think that if you lost someone in the tragic events I AM NOT saying don't mourn...I would guess people listening to a radio show are just people that probably lived in NY at the time and not people directly connected to the events. Big Difference in my book. If someone calls up to say poor us thats self serving. I mourn in my own way you in yours I would guess. We HAVE become a nation of whiners.

Sep. 11 2008 11:25 AM
Tara from New York, NY


I should probably just ignore your statements but unfortunately I know your position is shared by others so I will comment. What happened to the victims of the 9/11 attacks should never be minimized or dismissed regardless of one's position on the US government's involvement in Iraq or Afganistan. While you express concern and empathy for the "100,000's of innocents" in the middle east you obviously have no such regard for the innocent US victims here and the resulting trauma and grief experienced by their surviving family members. I have heard comments like yours by other's here in the US and I find them completely hypocritical, ignorant, and frightening in their self rightousness.

Sep. 11 2008 11:23 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

Joe-- So, you think that when people die abroad, it is important. But when people die here, it is a "diversion?" Why are we less important than others? Because we live here? I still don't understand your point. If you want to have a party today to celebrate, be my guest, but do not claim sensitivity for 100,000 people and yet claim that our measly 2,000 were nothing to mourn over. Makes absolutely no sense.

Sep. 11 2008 11:18 AM
SF from NYC

What about talking to children about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the thousands of innocent people that have died.
What about talking to them about a government that used Americans sorrow to manipulate a call for war. These are important issues!!!!!!!

Sep. 11 2008 11:14 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Cause we have problems and this "mourning' is a diversion. The outcome from 911 was us going to war and killings 100,000s of innocents. So I guess I think its a lil self serving.

Sep. 11 2008 11:08 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

Why should you, and so many others, even criticize people for choosing to mourn on this day? We're not forcing you to, so why would you force us not to?

Sep. 11 2008 10:56 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

Joe-- YOU do not have to mourn at all. You can simply not do anything. So many others go about their normal daily activities every 9/11. But, WE who felt deeply affected by the events that day will continue to honor those who died that day. But, make no mistake, it is no requirement. Mourning/honoring the dead is a CHOICE, not a "birth right" as you call it.

Sep. 11 2008 10:55 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

but why are we mourning every year as if mourning was a birthright....and the only way to "observe" "911" father died 910...any one wanna give me some of that poor me stuff...

Sep. 11 2008 10:50 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

Furthermore, to say that "this happens around the world all the time" is like saying that just because a person's son was murdered randomly one day, they mustn't mourn because the murder rate is so high, and "it happens all the time."

Sep. 11 2008 10:43 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

No one said this type of tragedy is exclusive to us. But it happened here. Let us mourn and honor our fellow NY'ers and others who died on that day. If someone dies in your family, wouldn't you naturally mourn for them more than those you do not know? Although, you can feel sympathy for someone else, it is simply different when it hits closer to home. Similarly, if we have a tragedy occur in this country, we are going to mourn more emphatically than for tragic events elsewhere. It's human nature. We're not minimizing tragedies in other countries. We're just saying this is an event that affected many of us, and we have the right to mourn it the way we want to.

Sep. 11 2008 10:37 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

The reason that nothing has been built there is cause of money...people want their cut...

Sep. 11 2008 10:26 AM
Nick from Long Island City

Why are we sugar-coating everything? This happens around the world all the time... This event is not exclusive, we need to prepare our children for the common tragedies of the world.

Sep. 11 2008 10:20 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I understand the sensitivity of the subject, but could you ask the guest if we run the risk of “poisoning” our children if the answers we give them are either emotional or political and not factual. Nuanced answers are complicated when explaining events like this to children, but as the guest said, is saying simply “people hate us and mommy will protect you” ultimately do them a disservice? Also, how do children react to the perpetual mourning of adults around them. Is this situation unique from children who experience other traumatic events like car crashes, etc?

Sep. 11 2008 10:16 AM

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