How To Talk To Your Children About Bin Laden, Terrorism

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Those who were alive to witness the horror surrounding the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 know what happened that fateful day, but how do you explain that kind of devastation to a child?

Sunday’s announcement of Bin Laden’s death became an international talking point, and child psychologists say there is a way to talk to your little ones about what is going on in the world.

“With the smaller children, you may have to just tell them, ‘this was a bad person that was doing some very bad things and we have to be safe’. And they may say, okay, can we go out and play now?” said Pediatric psychologist Dr. Sara Rivero-Conil.

Dr. Rivero-Conil says seeing images of 9/11 may trigger fears in some teens who lost loved ones in the attacks, and they may be equally as traumatic to younger children who have never seen them before.

“You want to maybe watch with them, if they’re going to be subjected to it.  See what their reactions are,” suggested Dr. Rivero-Conil.

Doctors say some warning signs to look out for in your children are irritability, aggressiveness, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

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