Looking at the images of the people celebrating outside of the White House - it was mainly "kids" in their late teens and early 20s. They were kids who when the towers fell were probably between the ages of 8-12 yrs old and very aware of what was happening in their lives. Maybe the images of the towers falling were burned into their mind. Maybe they became afraid of every passing airplane in the sky. Maybe they had sleepless nights because of the tragic events. Maybe they even lost a family member to the worst attack of terrorism this country has ever seen. How they react today, 10 years later, was neither right nor wrong - it was exactly that - a reaction, because inside they still have a sad, angry, or scared kid inside.
But when we slow down today and look at our small children in that same age range witnessing all of this, we have to think...what kind of affect is this having on our children TODAY? I've come across kids who are confused by what is going on because they were simply infants during 9-11 and I've come across kids that after one day of the news hitting our nation would rather hide then hear, see, or talk about what is going on in this nation. It comes down to the fact that they are JUST KIDS. They are kids that are more exposed to the media then any other generation. They see what can happen thanks to methods of mass destruction. They see images of fear and hatred. They see images of people celebrating a death of another. And while we can't hide them from it, we can let them be kids.
Tune in to what your children are seeing and hearing, either from you or from the media. Be aware. Be sensitive. We can talk about it with them, but not harp on it. Let them write about it, draw about it, to get what they need to get out. Let us not instill our own opinions on them. Listen. Let them form their own opinions, say what they need to say, and then move on. We can teach them to breathe through the fear and uncertainty - breathing deeply, counting breaths before bedtime - inhaling peace, exhaling peace. We can help them to relax - visualizing the place where they feel most safe, most peaceful. We can turn off the TV and the computers and the video games and bring it back to the basics. Family board games, getting outside to play in the fresh air - a trip to the park, a bike ride by the river.
For the Alluem Kids this week, it's all about the Obstacle Course! High energy to release endorphins, keep us naturally happy and alert! Focusing our energy on the task at hand and getting through it one step at a time! Ending with deep relaxation - hands on hearts - finding that love inside of us and sending it out to those in need of more love in their lives....because right now we can all use a little bit of love.
"...Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."