How to talk to teens and kids about Ukraine’s crisis
The adults around the globe watch Russia invade Ukraine. Many fear that this will be the most significant war in Europe since 1945.Potentially Global fuel and food prices are affected (aMong the obvious OtherWar has its effects(This could be because our children are not only absorbing what we say, but also our thoughts.Our tension. Whether they’re teenagers reading the news themselves or little kids catching snippets of scary words like “bombing” and “war,” chances are that most of our kids know something scary is happening.
As Psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, mentor Tania Taylor Metro.co.uk, kids are like sponges that absorb everything around them: “Whether on the news, someone talking to the shop checkout lady, parents chatting in the playground, or the latest TikTok video, much of what they are hearing, especially once at school, is out of your control. And sometimes, external factors (for example, Kevin in the playground telling everyone that World War Three is starting and we’re all going to die) can provoke more of a fear response.”
So whether or not we feel they’re old enough to understand what’s happening in Ukraine, they may come to us with questions. If they do (or if they’re old enough to proactively have a conversation with them), here are some things to keep in mind.
Take stock of yourself first
Especially if Your kids are little (say, ages 7-8 or younger), you may be surprised when you pick them up from school, and they spontaneously ask you what “war” means and if people are going to die. Every parent gets caught off-guard with hard-hitting questions long before we’re ready for them, but when we are, we can catch our breath before offering any kind of detailed response by bouncing the question back to them.
“Well, can you tell me what you know about ‘war’?” would be a good place to start in this example. It’s important to get some context for their question so you know what they’ve heard and how much information they may need or be able to understand. (There’s always a chance they’re asking about something totally unrelated, like a video game, so be clear they’re really asking about Russia and Ukraine.)
You can admit to the questioner that you are unable to think clearly before answering, and then promise to return to it. Something like, “That’s a very good question, and I’m so glad you asked me. Let me take a moment to think it over and then we’ll have dinner together. Does that sound OK?”
What to say to your children when you talk about Russia or Ukraine
Talking to young children is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Simply as much information as they’re able to handle. So give them the barebones basics: There are some soldiers who are going into another country where they’re not supposed to be (this is called “invading”), and a lot of people around the world are upset about it. TIt is happening far away. We are all safe and secure here.
Next, allow them to lead. They may find that this is all they require or desire, but they might also ask questions such as what country it is called, and how far it is from them. Why? they’re invading. Each question should be answered with clear, simple explanations. Always end the conversation by asking if they have any more questions so you can be sure they don’t have any lingering concerns or anxieties they may not yet have voiced.
Talking to teenagers about Russia or Ukraine
Older kids around ages 9-12 are going to be more in tune with adult conversations—their friends and classmates may be talking about what’s happening, and they may be getting information on their own through social media. Like with younger kids, it’s good practice to start with what they already know and build from there—particularly if “what they know” is likely to have come from an unreliable source like TikTok. (This is also a good time to build on previous conversations you’ve likely already had about misinformation and the importance of seeking out reputable sources.)
A map can be useful for those who are addressing the basic points.To compare the locations of Russia and Ukraine with where they are currently locatedTo show them how far they have moved, as well as that they are secure. Ask them any additional questions, then continue to have a dialogue with your teens in the coming weeks and months. To see if they have any other questions, check in periodically.If they are interested, help them find age-appropriate and current information about the conflict. (Their teacher might have some suggestions).
What to say to teens about Russia and Ukraine
Teenagers almost certainly know something about what’s happening in Ukraine by now.Jessica Biren Caverly is a psychologist licensed by the state of New York and also owns Western Connecticut Behavioral HealthYahoo! that being proactive in conversations with teenagers who may be getting most of their information from social media is especially important: “The negative impact of hearing information from an unreliable and biased source is that children then form opinions and ideals based on misinformation,” Biren Caverly said. “A person may learn one fact and form a belief, but to change that belief, you may need more than 100 new facts to make that significant change.”
Her point is that teenagers could also be eligible for voting, and parents need to help them find accurate information from trusted sources. Learn moreComplex political issues. Then, encourage them to ask more questions and research any answers together if you don’t know them already—going in search of accurate answers together when you’re unsure is a good practice to model for them at this age.
In the end, when it comes to having these conversation with kids of any ages, “children count on adults to help them make sense of world events and feel safe when the events are frightening,” Andrea Barbalich, editor-in-chief of The Week Junior USThe story was told New Jersey Family.
First and foremost, be. Be calmAnd be honest.