Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Explaining The News

As Z was getting ready for school on Monday morning, I turned on the news as we do nearly everyday.

"Osama Bin Laden is dead..."

If I told you that this news did not give me goosebumps or a sense of relief, I would be lying. I think for every American, no matter gender, political affiliation or financial status, this news brought some kind of closure to that fateful day nearly 10 years ago.

For that reason, I am grateful to the soldiers that serve our country, however, when my child looked up at the screen, she did not see the sovereignty that one normally sees when someone has died. Instead she was greeted with the confusing images of college students chanting, "USA, USA", met with a cavalcade of reporters smiling as they reported the actions of the Navy SEALS.

While I understand the jubilation, I do wonder how this barrage of confusing media and the knowledge that the White House is allegedly considering releasing the picture of a dead Osama to the public, will affect my child and the children of this nation.

To explain to her that this was a very bad man, that did very bad things to thousands of people does not seem as though it would be enough to justify the killing and raucous celebration that has ensued. To tell her about the images that are burned forever into my soul and psyche because of the leadership of this one man does not feel as though it gives any justice to what she is now seeing on a daily basis.

The death of this one man (no matter how many trillions of dollars it has cost this country), does not make me feel any safer than I did on Saturday. It does not change what happened to this country on that day, it does not bring back the thousands of lives lost (on our soil or theirs) and it does not right our current economic situation.

He was an evil man, but he was one man among thousands of evil men in this world. To trivialize the worldwide importance of his death with raucous partying and inane celebration, makes us a larger target to his supporters.

And to a mom, trying to explain to her 3 year old why him dying is a good thing but Grandpa dying was a bad thing, the seriousness of this threat and this circumstance cannot be taken too lightly.

I know that I am raising some controversial topics here, but I would love to hear your opinions.

How do I teach my child that revenge is wrong, when the news media seems so intent on making it look justified?


  1. You pray and ask for guidance. And for me I am not sure this is a lesson I would feel comfortable teaching a 3 year old. I know I know I am probably wrong for avoiding the Subject but I think at 3 explaining about Grandpa is one thing and Osama is another. I prefer to have my child keep his innocence as long as possible and while I will teach him right and wrong and good and evil. When he is 3 I will be leaving anything equitable to Osama for another day and time. Especially because I am not even sure that I have processed it as an adult and if I see it as revenge, if I see it as right or wrong etc. I think I would focus on the troops and our support for them. Ok I am rambling now I will shut up :)
    Hope you are feeling better! I know how it is to be down and out and especially thinking you are very much like me I am sure you are go go go so this is no fun. Prayers are with you my friend!

  2. I agree with Thatsawrapmom.

    I have a 10 year old -- he was 6 months on 9/11/01. At the time my friends who had older children wondered how they explain it to their kids. He knows about 9/11 because they talk about it in school.

    I stopped watching the news when my kids were around because of all the horrible things on it and I didn't think it was appropriate for them.

    There is so much that's hard to explain. We ran across this with Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese Tsunami, the recent tornadoes... there is so much to process as an adult, what do we tell our kids and when do we tell them?

    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. Each one of us has to do what we think is best and parent to the best of our ability. We'll make mistakes along the way, but with a little luck, lots of prayer and heaps of love, we'll get through it and not scar our kids forever.

  3. This is probably the first of many lessons for Z of how Christians are not meant to buy into this world - we have to live by God's standards - not those of the world. How can we celebrate anyone's death when one of the 10 Commandments is not to kill. How can we feel justified saying that someone deserves to die when it's not our place to decide that. Terrorism isn't any more dead, people aren't any more safe, and what's already done can not be undone. All we can do is pray and do what God has called us to do. So continue to teach her that revenge is wrong and pray about how to teach Z and how to guide her in this world to seek him first. She's so smart - she'll get it and she's surrounded by love and support!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...