The world is a scary place right now, and children of all ages are not immune to what is happening in the Middle East. Politics aside, this is a humanitarian crisis that is extremely difficult to comprehend or cope with for ourselves, let alone our children. It’s very important as a parent to recognize that and create an open dialogue with your children so they know they can come to you with questions and understand how to process big feelings.
My children’s school recently sent an email with helpful articles on how to talk to your children about war. I thought they were pretty helpful, so I wanted to share them for you here. Additionally, they encourage parents to temporarily delete certain social media apps off of our children’s phones – specially TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. Terrorists are expected to release distressing videos of hostages and war scenes that have the potential to appear on these platforms. One psychologist stated, “the videos and testimonies we are currently exposed to are bigger and crueler than our souls can contain.” Click here for a very helpful article on how to limit graphic social media images and videos from your feeds.
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Terrorism & War: How to Talk to Children
UNICEF Parenting: How to talk to your children about conflict and war
National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Families and Educators.
Today: How to talk to children about war: An age-by-age guide *The article highlights the war in Ukraine initially but resources regarding discussing war and conflict in general are very useful.
Elementary (Kindergarten – Grade 4)
Today’s Parent: How to Talk to Young Kids About War
Secondary (Grade 5 – Grade 12)
American Psychological Association: Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of teens
In addition, if your child is feeling overwhelmed, have they sit down with their school’s counselor for some extra support during these difficult times.