Never leave your children’s concerns unanswered.
Several upsetting global disasters have already occurred in the first months of 2022. From the continuing COVID-19 outbreak to demonstrations over vaccination requirements and COVID-19 limitations to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a lot has been weighing on the minds of the global public.
Being a child raiser, you may wonder whether discussing current affairs with children is appropriate. Child psychologists and parents have wrestled with this subject as well. Discussing these concerns with our children may be impossible to discern what and how to discuss the matter.
The world needs a model having open and honest talks with our children so that they may grow up to be knowledgeable and conscientious global citizens as the world suffers from huge challenges.
Here are some suggestions for discussing the Russia-Ukraine conflict with your little angels and how to configure them to their age and cognitive levels.
Reasons for Discussing the Ukraine Conflict With Children
To assist youngsters in coping with uncomfortable emotions that might develop.
It may seem a wise move to reduce an in-depth discussion to prevent increasing worry or panic, but data shows that having an open discussion about a traumatic experience might help ease suffering. “Name it to tame it,” as the saying goes.
Stressors have less impact on the well-being of children whose families are more open and communicative. Conducting these discussions with your kid offers the chance to reassure them and allow them to make sense of their feelings.
To fight the spread of falsehoods.
Because of the easy availability of news and media, it is probable that children and teenagers are already seeing or hearing much about the attack on Ukraine. As a result, there has been a rise in misinformation and deliberate deception on popular social media, like TikTok and Facebook.
Hence, parents and educators need to keep children aware of the Ukraine conflict, give credible information from legitimate sources and create opportunities to ask questions.
Be an example of kindness and empathy for others.
Children may learn compassion for all people, no matter how far apart they may be, by hearing stories about the conflict in Ukraine. By discussing current affairs with children, we can help them get a broader vision of the world and highlight the necessity of empathizing with the feelings and perspectives of others in a manner that is appropriate for kids.
A question like “what would others in this scenario be dealing with right now?” might help a teenager develop an empathetic picture of other people’s lives.
The Best Strategy to Discuss the Conflict With Your Children
Discussions with the kids younger than five years old.
Children of various ages and maturity levels will have varying degrees of comprehension and ability to absorb the facts emerging in Ukraine.
Conflict in Ukraine is likely to be a mystery to children younger than five years old. If your kid asks you what is going on, you may give them straightforward facts that they can understand. Please do not go beyond what they have asked of you.
You may explain that one nation is not very polite to another country, and people are not pleased. When you broach the topic with your kid, you discuss a common strategy for dealing with their emotions if they get unhappy.
Even for kids of different ages, it is important to monitor their accessibility to violent or negative information on the media. These considerations are of particular importance when dealing with young children whose cognitive abilities are still developing at a rapid pace. Keeping youngsters from hearing adult talks is also vital.
Discussions with school-going children and teenagers.
Before the conversation, it’s important to ensure that your mental state is stable enough.
The best course of action is to allow yourself some breathing room if you’re feeling agitated, weary, or disturbed before approaching the subject. In addition, it’s better to conduct the conversation when there are limited interruptions.
Ask your kid whether they’ve heard of the war in Ukraine or if they have any information of their own. As a further step, acknowledge and normalize their emotions.
If they claim it’s upsetting to them, you might respond by saying, “It can unsettle to ponder around a conflict; most people feel terrified too.” Keep the conversation short if your youngster is unaware of what is going on or does not appear to be particularly concerned about it.
Provide truthful and age-appropriate information regardless of how disturbed they are. For example, both of you may take a glance at the world map and tell where the dispute is taking place.
You may tell them many things to help them understand what’s going on and how they might go about gathering reliable information.
Adults must show that they will take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their kids.
Plan if necessary to discover diversions or things that your kid can concentrate on. Another option is to provide a helping hand to a Ukrainian family member or neighbor who is especially distressed or in need.
The Closing Statement
The discussions about the Russia-Ukrain conflict can teach your kid about your willingness and openness to discuss things, no matter how difficult the situation is. This may help provide a solid basis for discussing tough issues in the future.
Our youngsters are not the first generation to be exposed to conflicts and other traumatic international affairs when they were young. What is novel is how this young generation accesses and consumes news and global events.
Youth must be appropriately educated and comforted by people they trust and given the freedom to build an understanding of how they may perceive when sad global events occur.