Child Psychiatrist Offers Tips On Talking With Kids About Bin Laden’s Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many parents may be wondering how to explain recent events to children, particularly celebrations over the elimination of Osama bin Laden, Magee Hickey reports.

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In one religion class at Cathedral High School, students were concerned about seeing people rejoicing in the streets over the killing of a man they already discussed as being extremely evil.

“I think it’s over dramatic that people were going crazy in the street,” said senior Colleen Page.

“You should never praise that someone died, whether they’d done wrong or not,” said senior Mariah McKenzie.

“There’s a lot of moral questioning going on about this. What’s right and wrong? Is it just black and white?” explained Rev. Robert Poveromo, religion teacher.

At what age should parents talk to their children about Osama bin Laden? To the head of the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Harold Koplewicz, it’s a teachable moment for children of all ages.

“This was a bad man no matter what his religion. Many bad people are of different religions. This is not about us hating Muslims. This was about getting a man who did bad things and bringing him to justice,” he said.

Dr. Koplewicz reminds parents to consider the developmental age of the child when discussing bin Laden. For children under 5-years-old, he suggests no television at all because the images might be disturbing. For children between 6 and 11-years-old, it’s a good age to talk about religious tolerance.

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For teenagers, he cautions they should think before reacting because teens tend to be so impulsive.

One mother has been talking to her 11-year-old son for the past six years about the terror attacks and to her, this is a time to celebrate cautiously.

“It shows the American spirit, that they prevail. For New Yorkers it shows the rebuilding process and strengths of New Yorkers as well,” she said.

Should one feel guilt over celebrating the death of bin Laden? Leave a comment below…


  • Rose

    wow those uniforms are soo ugly

  • Shaun

    Is murder ever justifiable?

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

    By stepping away from labels of all-good or all-evil, we come to a more tolerant and calm disposition from which a true peace emerges,

  • Bill

    Not at all. This man was pure evil. He didn’t care who or how he killed, Man, Woman or Child.

  • Micha

    I feel as though anyone 20 or under cannot understand the anguish and pain that people felt when the twin towers went down, those exceptions being children who lost a loved one.

  • Gregory

    It’s a war; people get killed in wars. No guilt, no remorse, just relief that summary justice has been done. As for the kids have them read about the American Revolution and Hitler / WWII, provided the liberal, hand wringing, surender monkeys in the Teachers’ Union can convey actual History without wetting their collective pants.

  • Nick

    Quacks at it again. Just tell the truth. And you won’t raise any libs that works for low wages at a media company.

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