How do I talk to my children about war?
Explore age-appropriate strategies to help you address difficult topics and provide comfort and understanding to your children.
As much as parents might want to protect their children from certain news, they're going to end up going to school. And they're going to have access to information.
For very young children, such as preschool-aged children, you mostly want to help them learn
how to talk about their feelings and help them label their feelings. You don't want to necessarily give them information, but maybe even ask them,
what have you heard about it? How does it make you feel? Really, what that does is it encourages them to continue to talk about their emotions.
When it comes to a little bit older children, such as elementary school children, they might know a little bit more, but still not enough
to be able to understand what could be going on in the world. So keeping things really brief and simple, I think, is really important.
We want to make sure that these kids are still able to kind of live their lives as kids, and not have to worry about worldly or adult events
that they're just not really equipped to deal with just yet. For older children, they're probably going to be a lot more exposed to various media
or social media or maybe having their friends talk about it. So I think it's most helpful to ask older children open-ended questions about what they understand
about the conflicts, or how they feel about it where they're getting their information from, so that parents can teach them
about responsible consumption and also, you know, being able to discuss what it looks like to have
a healthy relationship with social media and with the news as well. It's also really important for parents to be able to be accessible to their children
so that their children know that they can come and ask them questions every time something scares them or something doesn't really make sense to them.
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