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Laura Bush: Pay close attention to children

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- First Lady Laura Bush said Thursday that parents should "pay close attention to their children" in the aftermath of the terriorist attacks in New York and Washington.

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CNN's John King talks with the first lady of the United States (Sept. 13)

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During her first interview since the terrorist attacks, she told CNN's John King Thursday that now is the time for all parents to reassure their children that they will be safe.

"I hope that parents pay close attention to their kids," Bush said.

Bush said that the first step is to prevent children from watching television "over and over" and instead "do something constructive," like write letters to local police and fire department and expressing their feeling by drawing pictures or just talking.

Psychologists say younger children do not understand when the same tape is playing repeatedly on television, and when they see planes crashing into buildings and buildings burning, each time they watch it, they think it's a new explosion.

To make sure children feel their governement will protect them, Bush said she wrote two separate letters, one addressed to the nation's elementary children, the other--to high school students.

"I want students to know that they're going to be taken care of," the First lady said.

When asked how she felt, when she learned of the terrorist attack, Bush said, "I wasn't frightened for myself, but like everyone else I was concerned about everyone who was at the World Trade Center, and also so unvelievably saddened that something like this can happen in our country."

She added that her husband, President George Bush, has "a lot of confidence in our country."


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