Remembrance Day approaches. War, death and freedom can be challenging topics to tackle with kids so we asked the VancouverMom.ca Facebook community what they thought. Here is what you had to say.
Moms recommended that parents start young when talking about Remembrance Day. “I am a firm believer in telling my children (two and four) the truth and giving them a ‘reality view’ of life… So far as it doesn’t give them nightmares!” says VancouverMom.ca reader Jen.
Use a Book
Books often provide a format that make it easier for your kids to understand Remembrance Day. One reader particularly recommended A Poppy is to Remember, by Governor General award winning illustrator Ron Lightburn. Check out your local library for more resources on Remembrance Day.
Tell the Truth
Try to be as truthful as possible. Avoid sugar-coating, which can sometimes backfire and leave kids with incorrect information. For example, Jen talks about death with her young kids. “In this day and age, they are going to learn about everything anyway and I want them to trust that they can get the truth from their parents so that they know they can come to us first.” VancouverMom.ca reader Cecilia began by telling her three-year-old: “We have freedom because of brave men and women who fought for it for us.”
Make It Personal
Is there someone in your family who have served in the armed forces – or even the Great War? “My husband served in the Canadian Forces and would share with our children his experiences with the other soldiers,” says Vancouver mom Donna, whose children are now adults. Jen tells her kids about how their great grandpa was in World War II and what a great man he was.
Celebrate Patriotism Throughout the Year
“When we pass a cenotaph in any community it always reminds us of those who served our country,” says Donna, who examples her patriotism throughout the year – not just on Remembrance Day and Canada Day. She adds: “We have always encouraged our children and others to show respect for our national anthem when and wherever it is played.”
Cecilia’s son helps her with letters and packages that she sends to deployed soldiers. But there are simpler ways – even if only to be an example for your kids. Attend ceremonies and assemblies. Observe two minutes of silence. Wear a poppy.
Have any other tips for tackling tough topics? Comment below!