Discussing Osama bin Laden's death is a struggle for some parents

The Sacramento BeeMay 5, 2011 

The killing of Osama bin Laden has dominated the news for three days, and with it images of celebration. For parents struggling to explain the events to their children, the public rejoicing – and subsequent backlash against it – has added another layer of complexity to an already difficult task.

Kids who were too young to know what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, are now old enough to ask why their country would kill a man – and then cheer.

How to explain joy over death?

"It's a difficult conversation," said Bonnie Holmes-Gen, a Land Park mother with a 12-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son.

She told her children that the ideal way of resolving conflicts is through peaceful measures, but that bin Laden presented an extreme exception.

"We've talked about very evil situations in the world like World War II and Hitler, and this is a situation like that, from our perspective," Holmes-Gen said.

"We've tried to express that we see all the cheering in the streets and that's not our way to deal with this information, but we understand other people feel differently."

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