Not Just for Kids
War and Peace of Mind
by Martha Blume
News of the war with Iraq can be scary and unsettling. Your mom and dad and other adults around you may be tense and worried, which only adds to your fears.
War is upsetting. But grownups those close to you as well as our national leaders are doing their best to keep all of us safe. America has gone to war before to defend peoples rights to liberty and justice, and we have remained strong.
Some Americans are in favor of the war, and some are against it.
- to bring a more democratic and just society for the Iraqi people
- to protect us from future terrorist attacks
- to ensure that no national leader, like Saddam Hussein, is allowed to secretly harbor weapons of mass destruction
- it puts many lives in danger, including our soldiers and Iraqi civilians and soldiers
- it costs a lot of money that could be better spent here in our country
- it may increase the risk of terrorist attacks against us
- it was unprovoked; we should have continued with peaceful negotiations
If the war makes you feel uneasy, there are some things you can do that will help:
- Talk with a grownup you love and trust. Tell them your fears and ask questions about things you dont understand but tell them when youve heard enough. Sometimes grownups dont know when to stop talking.
- Try drawing a picture or writing a poem or keeping a journal about your feelings. Share it with a grownup if you want to.
- Do things that comfort you: pray, read a favorite book, play sports, walk the dog, plant a garden, hug your family, cook, smile, do good deeds, suggest special family times like a picnic or a walk at the beach to help your family relax together.
- Write to soldiers. The Department of Defense has asked Americans not to overload the military mail system, but you can e-mail a soldier at www.OperationDearAbby.net. If you know someone fighting, of course you can mail a letter directly.
- Write to the president or the first lady or other political leaders and tell them how you feel about the war:
President George W. Bush
or First Lady Laura Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500.
Or e-mail them at www.whitehouse.gov.
- Dont listen to too much TV or radio. If your mom and dad have it on a lot, ask them to turn it off or leave the room. Reporters may exaggerate a story. Sometimes video replays make it seem like events are happening over and over again when they only happened one time.
- Dont believe everything you hear from other kids. They may exaggerate the facts or get wrong information, too.
- Read about the people and history of Iraq to get a better understanding of who they are.
- Read about kids living in war times to see that your feelings are not new and that life goes on. Wars have been happening since the dawn of time.
Try These Books
- Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1989) A boy sees family & friends divided in our Civil War.
- Boy at War by Harry Mazer (2001) A boy is fishing near Honolulu when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941.
- From the Dear America/My Name is America series
published by Scholastic:
- A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales
- Texas, 1836 by Sherry Garland (1998).
- A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 by Karen Hesse (1999).
- Early Sunday Morning, The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941 by Barry Denenberg (2001).
- The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty: U.S. Marine Corps, Khe Sanh, Vietnam, 1968 by Ellen Emerson White (2002).
- Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston (1983) A Japanese American girl and her family are held in an internment camp during WWII (for young adults).
- Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (1969) A 14-year-old finds himself in the midst of the American Revolution.
- The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland (1993) A Vietnamese family leaves their war-torn homeland for America.
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1989) WWII tests the friendship of a Jewish girl and her Christian friend in Denmark (for young adults).
- Sami and the Time of the Troubles by Florence Parry Heide & Judith Heide Gulliland (1992) A boy is caught up in the Middle East conflict.
- Soldier Mom by Alice Mead (1999) A 13-year-olds mother goes to fight during the Persian Gulf War.
- Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene (1973) A Jewish girl in Arkansas becomes acquainted with a Nazi soldier from a German prison camp in her hometown (young adults).
- When the Soldiers Were Gone by Vera Propp (1999) A Jewish boy is reunited with his parents following the Nazi occupation of Holland.
This Week's Kids Stuff
Saturday, April 5
Pond and Stream Exploration
Kids of all ages search for and learn to identify frogs, turtles, fish, tadpoles, dragonflies and other aquatic insects. Bring boots or tie-shoes that can get wet, change of clothes and a towel. 1-3pm @ Sanctuary Wetlands Center, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, off Rts. 258 and 4, Lothian. $2.50 w/age discount; rsvp: 410/741-9330 www.jugbay.org.
Tiny Tadpole Trot
Kids ages 2 & 3 laugh w/ Frogee puppets, listen to frog songs and learn about their life. 10am @ Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Grays Rd. off Sixes Rd., Prince Frederick. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/535-5327.
Sunday, April 6
Frogs In Concert
Kids of all ages w/families enjoy a spring concert by resident frogs. Listen to different species of frogs and discover why the park is such a good place for them. 1pm @ Flag Ponds Nature Park, off Rt. 2/4, Lusby. $3 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/535-5327.
Tuesday, April 8
A Tad Of Tales
Did you know that April is National Frog Month? Kids of all ages hop on over for stories about these favorite amphibians. 11am @ Barnes and Noble, Harbour Center, Solomons Island Rd. Annapolis: 410/573-1115.
Kids ages 2-4 w/adult take an hour wildlife adventure nature hike w/ranger Lisa Wolfe. Indoor activity planned in case of inclement weather. 11am @ Earleigh Heights Ranger Station, Earleigh Heights Rd., Severna Park. rsvp: 410/222-6244.