September 11, 2001, is a day that many of us remember exactly where we were, who we were with, what we were doing. While many of our children were not even born when the catastrophic events unfolded that day, they now learn about it during history lessons at school.
Because 9/11 was an incredibly traumatizing event, it can be challenging to talk about with our children. If you speak to your child about this topic, I encourage you to use age-appropriate language and allow your child to ask questions and express their emotions.
Dr. Steven Tobias, Far Hills Country Day School’s school psychologist and Director of the Center for Child & Family Development, shared this brief article with me and recommended sharing it with our parents. I also want to be sure that you know that Dr. Tobias is a fantastic resource if you have any specific concerns. We can put you in touch with him if you call us at 908-766-0622.
While the day is a somber one, I also want to encourage you to focus on hope. A Mister Rogers quote comes to mind: “When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
You can talk to your children about the helpers. And what kindness, unity, and teachable moments can come from such tragedy.
For instance, yesterday in our Lower School, classes learned about the helpers in our neighborhoods. On Monday, our Upper School students will learn about turning a day of tragedy into a day of purpose and discuss how to live out 9/11 Day of Service activities in our community.
On the day that marks 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, we honor all members of the Far Hills community and beyond whose lives were impacted by the events of that day. It is my hope for all of you that you can remember the helpers, focus on hope, and turn tragedy into purpose.
With hope and love,
Georgia S. Zaiser
Head of School