HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE RUSSIA – UKRAINE CONFLICT?
If your kids have heard about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they may be feeling nervous. Thanks to social media and online outlets, young people have access to more news sources than ever.
How should you answer your kids’ questions about what’s going on? If they don’t ask, should you bring up the issue yourself?
Look for signs that your child is feeling anxious.
Sometimes, kids will ask questions that indicate they’re feeling anxious. Other times, though, they will worry silently — so it’s important to look out for less obvious signs that they’re nervous. Kids struggling with anxiety can, for instance, have trouble sleeping, possibly because they are woken up by thoughts or images they saw in the news.
The power of parental presence
In times of crisis, parents and caregivers play a vital role in protecting children and helping them cope. But even providing the simplest acts of care to a child in an emergency can be a challenge.
The advice is exactly what you might imagine: If possible, the parent or a close guardian should be by their side.
What message should we be trying to get across?
All the experts agree that trying to lie about the conflict is a bad idea. Being caught out risks harming a child’s sense of trust in the adults who care for them. As a parent, you do not need to have the answers for everything, questions from children can be a joint quest for information.
Don’t bombard kids with news or scary images.
Although it’s understandable to want to keep abreast of the news, be aware that your child may be watching or listening, too. Having news on, where there’s constantly images circulating that may be disturbing to them.