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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 09/25/08

How can I talk to my child about terrorism?

In today's world, parents are faced with the challenge of explaining violence and terrorism to their children. Newspapers, television, and the internet have made worldwide events viewable with the push of a button. Children, therefore, often view disturbing images and events that can haunt them for the rest of their lives. Sadly, many children in the twenty-first century have also experienced terrorism. The events of 9/11/01, bombings in England and Spain, and continuous terrorist attacks in Israel have all effected children at the scene and across the globe. Parents must learn to take the initiative and talk to their children about acts of terror. If a child has witnessed an act of terror, it is important for them to receive professional help immediately as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can result from witnessing an act of violence.

In the Jewish Community

The Jewish Community has encountered countless acts of terrorism in the past few years. Although a parent’s natural instinct is to shield children from pain, parents must recognize that children will inevitably find out about acts of terror from other sources. It is best for parents to discuss terrorism with their children in a friendly, open manner in which they will feel comfortable asking questions.

Use the following links to educate yourself about terrorism and its effects. Learn why terrorism can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how to treat it before it becomes a problem.

Frequently Asked Links

What is terrorism?

How do children react to news about terrorism?

How are some children affected by terrorism?

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

How is PTSD treated?

Can PTSD be prevented?

How can I talk to my child about terrorism?

How can I explain tragedies to my child? more more

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can children cope with terrorism?

How can I talk to my child about terrorism?

How can I tell if my child is worried?

How can I help my child handle worrying?

What can I do to help my child handle trauma?

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This site is dedicated to helping kids overcome crisis.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) has developed the Facts for Families series to provide concise and up-to-date information about issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families. Facts for Families No. 87: Talking to Children About Terrorism and War is available on the Web at

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has prepared Children, Terrorism and Disasters. This resource and others are available on the Web at

American Psychological Association (APA) has created Reactions and Guidelines for Children Following Trauma/Disaster to help parents and teachers of kindergarten and elementary school children, which is available on the Web at

Children’s National Medical Center: The International Center To Heal Our Children: Building Healthy Minds and Futures has prepared The Handbook of Frequently Asked Questions Following Traumatic Events: Violence, Disasters, and Terrorism (2002), which is available in English and Spanish. This resource and others are available on the Web at

Connect for Kids provides two compilations of resources: Helping Kids Cope With Trauma and Help with the Healing. Both are available on the Web at

Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.


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