Fear Factor: How Do We Teach Our Kids About the Holocaust Without Scarring Them for Life?

January 30, 2012

Source: Tablet Magazine


Marjorie Ingall, parenting columnist for Tablet Magazine, writes about how to introduce your child to the facts of the Holocaust without inflicting psychological damage. She tries to find the balance between letting them have a childhood and giving them history. She includes a listing of children's books to help with task.


She concludes:

"Read children’s Holocaust books before you give them to your kid. And yes, you have to. Start thinking about it before you think your kid is ready. (And in our media-saturated world, if your kid is 8, she’s ready.) The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., offers some useful advice: Elementary school can be a good time to begin talking about diversity, bias, and prejudice. Strive for precision of language; steer clear of generalizations and stereotypes (such as “all Germans were evil”). Avoid comparisons of pain (this is not a “who is most oppressed” competition). Don’t romanticize history by overemphasizing heroic tales or the worst aspects of human nature, but don’t make it sound like there were as many heroic gentile rescuers as there were villains, either. Contextualize history, and make responsible methodological choices. (“Graphic material should be used judiciously—Try to select images and texts that do not exploit the students’ emotional vulnerability.”)"


See the entire article at Tablet Magazine.

Updated: Feb. 12, 2012