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How to Talk to Your Child About Remembrance Day

Parenting

Every year we pause on November 11 to honour and remember those who fought, and still fight for our rights, freedom and peace. But for little ones, especially if you don't have anyone in the military in your family, it might be an abstract concept. Sitting still and being quiet during a ceremony doesn't necessarily teach a child the importance of Remembrance Day, so how do we as parents explain it so they understand, and more importantly, how do we instill the importance of peace?
Family History
It always helps when we can tie world events into our own personal family history. Your family might not have someone enlisted at the moment, but if you look back a generation or a few, maybe someone in your family was somehow impacted by a war. Telling your child about these stories not only gives them a deeper connection to their family history, but also brings home the point that so many will sacrifice so much, to keep us all safe, and free.

Keep it positive
War can be a very scary concept to a child, so try to keep the conversation age appropriate. A younger child might not be able to separate a war happening across the world, from their life here. For them, it would be better to keep the focus on how Remembrance Day is a day to reflect on being kind to one another, and how lucky we are to live in a country where we are all accepted and free to do and feel what we want. Older children might be better able to handle the concept of war, how it begins and why it exists. 

Talk about peace
We will always honour those who have gone before us and who fought for a free and safe country and world. Our responsibility as parents, is also to raise children who will work to end the need for war in the first place. Take every opportunity you can to talk to your child about peace, and acceptance. Teach them that we should appreciate, and embrace, all the differences in people all over the world. We need to model this to our children so that it's just an obvious way to live to them.

Let's teach them tolerance and conflict resolution, and we will be on a good way to create a more peaceful world, where people don't have to give their lives to protect what many take for granted.


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