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Parenting in a world gone mad

Lessons learned post 9/11

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Parenting 9/11: five years and one month later

Events play tricks with our memories. September 11, 2001 does not seem to have been five years ago. It still echoes in our lives. We all know what we were doing that day and recall it vividly. We know that our lives changed then.

I learned that two airplanes had hit the towers of the WorldTradeCenter just before I entered an examination room for the first "well child visits" of that day. A mother and two daughters were waiting, shielded from the incredible news. I did not know enough to tell them anything.

Throughout the visit --- as the mother asked questions about her daughters' behavior, her parenting, school, nutrition, and all the stuff of our lives with our kids --- my mind tried to make sense of the news. The pilots did this intentionally. It took a lot of planning. It took a kind of courage. It was probably done by inspired young men. How did these boys grow up to believe that this was the best thing they could do? What did their parents do that led to this belief? What responsibility do we all share? What did this have to do with my daily work with parents and children?

As the awful information accumulated throughout the day, these various thoughts finally flowed together into one stream. In some way, all the world's children are our children. What did we all do to raise these little boys to become young men who chose death for so many as their ideal? How can we prevent children from growing up this way?

It is just more than five short years later. There are hundreds of children who lost parents on September 11, 2001... and thousands since, in the aftermath. In every way we can, let's help them choose life.

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