Saturday, March 22, 2003

War abroad and on the home front

I'll admit I haven't talked to my kids much about the war in Iraq, partially because there didn't seem much that two elementary schoolers could do besides worry themselves sick over it, and partially because I couldn't quite imagine how to explain what we're doing there in terms that would be comprehensible to the learning disabled (and frankly, in this particular area, a whole lot of us seem to be learning disabled.) But my daughter got a phone call from a friend Tuesday night that spilled the beans, and she came running up to me after with that same look she gets on her face during a thunderstorm and said, "Barbara says we're going to war! Have you heard anything about that?" I admitted I had. She asked if this meant we had to personally travel somewhere and fight with people, or if people were going to come to our house and personally fight with us. I tried to reassure her on both counts, although living as close as we do to the site of the former World Trade Center, it's hard to be really sure about that second point. I tried to give her a little explanation of why we were at war, and it was either simple enough to satisfy her or so confusing that she didn't care anymore, because she hasn't mentioned it since. If your kids aren't as easily comforted or contented, Connect for Kids has a wealth of resources for helping kids cope with trauma, terrorism, disaster, violence and the nightly news. The site promises more of the same on its home page on March 24.

If, on the other hand, the battles you're most concerned with right now have more to do with special ed than special ops, the always excellent Wrightslaw site has oodles of info on the latest in the reauthorizaton of IDEA. But it's way too traumatic for children.

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