War's Not So Bad if You Lie to Your Kids

My wife, who teaches preschool, has complained to me that she’s constantly telling her kids to do things that presidents refuse to, such as “Don’t fight,” “Treat them the way you would want to be treated,” “Don’t accuse them of something, just tell them what you want them to do,” “Say you’re sorry,” “Don’t hit, use your words,” etc. She finds it frustrating that TV news is constantly depicting our “leaders” as behaving like poorly educated three-year-olds.

Not to worry! Various TV news shows are now running stories about how to talk to your kids about war, using as a source of expertise the New York University Child Study Center, http://aboutourkids.org. Apparently, the experts have concluded that the best thing to do is lie to them, as follows:

“What do I say when children ask if they can fight to solve problems?
“Explain that fighting is never the first thing to do when there are disagreements and problems. The US has worked with the United Nations and other countries, and engaged in meetings and inspections to prevent war and get accurate information. The US will go to war if the leaders of the country believe that people’s lives are at stake and want to do everything possible to prevent people in the US from being killed.”

Not only is this a crock of poopie, but it will have the result of making US kids believe their lives are actually in danger.
If you don’t believe that this is true, and therefore object to telling it to our children, contact the authors:

Robin F. Goodman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine, Director of Bereavement Services and www.AboutOurKids.org. Her book publications include The Day Our World Changed, Children’s Art of 9/11, and Childhood Revealed: Art Expressing Pain, Discovery and Hope. She also contributes to national television and print media.

Anita Gurian, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU School of Medicine, is Editor of the NYU Child Study Center Letter and Executive Editor of www.AboutOurKids.org. She is also the author of several books for parents and professionals.

New York University Child Study Center
577 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 263-6622

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