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An 8 year old & CW in the Classroom - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Fri Apr 13th, 2007 01:29 am
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sjh
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I need some advice as my 8 year old daughter is studying the Civil War at school.  To start, I am thrilled that the teacher, who has visited many battlefields herself, is even going over this with a bunch of soon to be 3rd graders. I give her all the credit as it has sparked some interest on the part of my child in the CW.

However, my daughter clearly thinks (in her black and white mind, and I am not referring to race!) that Southerners were all bad and kind of cheered when Southern soldiers were shot while we watched a few clips from a CW show recently. I tried to explain to her that Southerners were not necessarily evil, and she reminded me that her very lovely best friend who comes over to our house to play (I collect CW prints and was somewhat nervous the first time she came over as I have several Southern prints with the Conf. battle flag on them) is African-American and possibly would have been a slave. I had no comeback at the moment.

While I don't condone the thinking of those who favored the perpetuation of slavery and realize that it was the primary cause of hostilities, I know that not everyone went to war for the South to perpetuate slavery (and no, I am not a "Northern Lost Causer").  It does create a bit of a quandry when talking to an 8 year old girl.

I have been a student of the CW for many years having struck an interest in it when I was about 10 years old. But this is a tough one for me. Any advice to offer? I will sit back and wait...

Steve



 Posted: Fri Apr 13th, 2007 01:45 am
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ole
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Just tell her that they thought they were on the right side. That most now think otherwise shouldn't matter.

Ole



 Posted: Fri Apr 13th, 2007 01:55 am
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Doc C
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I can't begin to tell you what to say to your daughter. Both sides had their great men and demons. I've posted this before but Shelby Footes interview on booknotes should at least give you a perspective. http://www.booknotes.org/Transcript/?ProgramID=1216


Doc C



 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2007 04:42 am
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JoanieReb
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Mr. Steve,

Children love to admire people, living or dead, and get rapidly attached to those whom they admire.  Generally, they also seem to me to be far more open to "personalizing" than to intellectual reasoning.

Perhaps, tell her the story  of a "heroic" Southern figure whom will appeal to her.  Don't mention that he was Southern until she expresses approval or admiration of him, then mention casually that he fought for the South - and if an officer, that his men loved him.  But try and pick someone you can defend morally.  Nathan Bedford Forrest has the best stories, but you couldn't defend his moral character to that little girl and win, LOL.

Then, she will have to deal with the conflict within herself:  Can she dismiss someone whom she had developed admiration for just because he wore The Grey?

Or, perhaps tell her of Belle Boyd, a strong and clever - and romantic - woman who might appeal to her imagination.

But remember, you are her father and, at this age, she is still looking to you define right and wrong for her.  Your attitude will speak everything.  If you show moral uncertainty, she will feel something is wrong with your argument.  If you are confident in what you say, she will trust your viewpoint.

And, no matter how intellectually inclined a child seems at that age, use the "KISS!" method (keep it simple, stupid!) - let her be the one to complicate things, so her own issues are addressed.

When I was about 6 years old, I asked a senior uncle if he had killed any Germans in WWII.  When he replied, "yes", I said something to the effect that he must be proud.  And he said, no, he was sad, they probably didn't want to be there any more than he did, and they very likely had little girls just like me waiting for them to come home. That little exchange was life-changing for me. I have never been able to think of common Nazi soldiers, in general, in anything less than sympathetic human terms since that moment. 

Didn't mean to sound like I was lecturing, if I did, I'm sorry.

Sincerely,

JoanieReb

 

 



 Posted: Tue Apr 17th, 2007 08:24 pm
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missourianconfederate
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Well I was brought up in a prodominant Southern family and I have both side prespectives being brought up here in Missouri.

But I agree with JohnnyReb on having her pic some soldiers on both sides.

But good luck to ya.

Your obident servant,

Private Benjamin MLW

3rd Missouri Infantry, Missouri State Guard (CSA)



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