Maudlin and Associates ™
Karen Maudlin
Psy.D., CPCC
Kenneth Davison
Cindy Takiguchi
Manette Galván Turner
Robert Gregory
Daniel Doebler
Trevor Simpson

As families continue to feel the effects of the September 11th tragedy, we are challenged to respond to our children and conduct ourselves in an appropriate way. Christian Parenting Today contacted our advisory board member and columnist Karen L. Maudlin, Psy.D for some expert advice:

  • Regulate the level of incoming media according to age. For younger children (4 through 8), think through the child's temperament. If the child is sensitive, limit the pictures and TV images the see. Explain that there was an attack on the United States, people died, and we need to pray for their families and for our leaders. Pray 1 Timothy 2:1-2: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kinds and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." Explain that our government, especially President Bush, is taking charge of the situation for us. Give your child a project that focuses on helping the victims. Check with your school or local government for programs where your child can help.

  • For children ages 10-14, reading a newspaper or a magazine is a better choice for information than television. Reading is less stimulating and allows a child to process the information at a slower rate, which will have less of a negative impact. Read or watch TV with your child so that you can be there to explain and comfort when you need to.

  • Only answer questions that your child asks. Explaining all the events of the terrorist attack may evoke feelings of fear that may not have been there to being with. If you don't know the answer to a question, say so, but find out the answer so you can respond.

  • For the tough, philosophical and spiritual questions, answer honestly adn refer to SCripture when appropriate. For example, "why did God let this happen if he loves the United States?" A good reply may be, "I don't know, but I do know that our country is praying more than ever right now and God likes our prayers. He knows people are sad. Remember Deuteronomy 31:6, 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

  • Reassure your child that she is safe. Do extra cozy family activities together: hugs, cuddle times, down time, movie nights, walks outside.

  • Resume normal activity. As President Bush said, we must go on with our lives. Children need the familiarity of their schedules. Avoid listening to news radio while in the car with your child and refrain from conversation about the attack at the dinner table unless your child initiates it. Instead, use this time to talk and laugh together. This will also ensure a sense of safety.

  • Seize the moment. After school or at the dinner table, ask your older kids what they are thinking about the world situation. Process concerns, listen carefully, and respond. Pray together about any concerns.

  • For adults: If you are fearful and anxious, take time to calm yourself before talking to your child about these issues. Take breaks from the news to cut down on overstimulation. Keep with your normal schedule and routines.