Update: If you missed this show when it aired last week, you can view the entire presentation of “What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001” online. 

Talking to kids about what happened on September 11 is one of a handful of the very big talks we’ll have with our children, right up there with talking about the birds and the bees, drug and alcohol use/abuse, and how to navigate technology safely. But as our children grow, and hear things about that tragic day that took place ten years ago, we need to broach that conversation with them. How do we begin?

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee hopes to provide parents with an opening to that important conversation tonight  at 8:00 p.m. CDT by airing, “What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001.”

Accounts from children who experienced the unbelievable events of that day are paired with facts about the day and answers to kids’ questions from adults including Ari Fleischer (White House Press Secretary under President George Bush), Aaron Brown (Principal Anchor, CNN, 9/11), and many others.

What I’ve been unable to learn about this news special are the ages it’s geared towards. I know that my three-year-old is not old enough to enter into this discussion. But my six-year-old is bright and mature. When Osama Bin Laden was killed she and I discussed it because she was hearing, even in Kindergarten, that our country killed him.

Still, as mature as she may be, she’s only six. I’m not sure I’m ready to introduce her to a world where terrorists so consumed by hate flew airplanes into buildings, killing more than 3,000 innocent people. I doubt she’s ready to learn the hard truths about the adults who died that day (many of them parents), the children who perished alongside them, and the difficult or disturbing realities about how it all happened. Ten years later I’m still no closer to understanding or being able to fathom what happened on that horrible day myself.

I plan to record tonight’s Nick News special about 9/11. I’ll review it and see if it’s appropriate for my daughter. I think it’s probably not, but maybe I’m wrong.

Will you watch this show tonight with your children? How, and at what age, do you talk to your children about September 11?

[photo credit: SXC]