How to talk to kids about Osama bin Laden's death

Saw this article in the Washington Post this morning-"How to talk to kids about Osama bin Laden" . It contains some helpful hints and links to sites that have ideas for parents to use when talking to kids about violence and death.

Just wondering- did anyone here have a problem talking to their kids about 9/11, the war, or bin Laden's death? Did any of this make your kids feel fearful, anxious...? How much do you protect your kids, based on age and maturity, from news about violence and war?

And with bin Laden's death in particular, how have you handled the spiritual ramifications of the death of an evil person, feelings of vengeance, how justice is served...?

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BryanBice's picture

Maybe rent "The Wizard of Oz" for the weekend? "Hey Ho, the witch is dead..."

dcbii's picture



I've never had an issue dealing with these things with my kids. Now they are teens, so when we heard the news about ObL (notifications on our smart phones), we went down, watched the news, watched the President's address, and went out and shot off some firecrackers.

It was a little more difficult with 9/11, since they were much younger then, but I didn't shield them from any of the news broadcasts, and we talked about it quite a lot. In fact, on each 9/11 since then, we've either watched one of the DVDs about it, gone to a memorial concert, or remembered it in some other way. They already understood the concept of just killing from Bible stories like David & Goliath, among others. It wasn't much different for discussing going to war with Afghanistan after 9/11.

There were definitely some inappropriate reactions from my kids on the 9/11 images (my not-quite-6-year-old thought the pictures looked "cool," and I had to explain how they represented the deaths of many and that they were in no way "cool") but again, I didn't try to protect them from hearing or seeing the news -- I always used it as a teaching time. I don't remember any feelings of fear or anxiety coming from them at all.

Dave Barnhart

Susan R's picture


It's the same at our house. We talk about what's going on in the world almost every day. We read God's World News together regularly. Sometimes I listen to Neal Boortz in the morning, or Rush in the afternoon, and the kids ask questions about what they hear, so events like the death of OBL don't frighten them. They aren't h-hum about it, but they don't exhibit any anxiety.

I have a friend with kids who are very anxious about things though. She and her husband are the most easy-going people in the world, they watch the news, etc.. so it's strange how fearful her kids are when they hear about wars and sickness and orange alerts.

Nowadays when things like this happen, they have assemblies in schools and counselors who come in to talk to the kids... it all seems a bit weird to me. The kids I talk to about it think it's a joke, but are glad for any excuse to get out of class.

rogercarlson's picture

Our kids watch the news with us everyday. We don't always allow them to see the pictures, but they know what is going on.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church