To Teach your child about the world during today’s times may be a tough feat, but Healthier Me Today has your back along the way!
Your child has more than likely already been exposed to some information regarding the current war between Russia and Ukraine. As we grapple with understanding the reasons behind it ourselves, we need to ensure our children are secure in their homes and their everyday lives.
At What Age Should I Speak to my Child about the War?
No matter their age, through chats on the playground and images splashed across every newspaper and television screen, they will have some idea that something is not right in the world.
Your child’s age and maturity levels will determine what and how much information you should pass on.
- Older children will have a better understanding and will be able to grasp the severity of the situation
- Children five years and younger will not have the capacity to understand the actions and consequences of war fully.
- Younger children should be given simple information that is relatable to them.
- Avoid giving too many details as this is a susceptible subject and could scare the child and cause nightmares or instil a fear that they are not safe.
What Information Should I Share with my Child?
Firstly make sure that you are calm and relaxed and there are no distractions, so you have time to address their feelings and answer their questions.
- Ask your child what they might already know or have heard and seen regarding the war.
- If they do not know much and seem not interested or concerned, then keep the conversation brief and to the point.
- Whether they are distressed or not, share some facts like looking at the globe or a map and showing them where the conflict is happening, which will also set their mind at ease knowing it is far away from them in the world, thus creating a feeling of safety.
How do I Make My Child Feel Secure?
Although even the thought of war is daunting, you need to be honest and factual with your children. Never lie to your child. This just opens up feelings of distrust in the adults caring for them. It’s essential to ensure children have a safe place for their concerns and questions.
You need to let your children know you are willing and open to talk about difficult situations, and this will build a lasting foundation for the future as they know they can come to you about any topic. Be mindful of your words and language as the term “nuclear war” is terrifying no matter our age. Try speaking to them and showing them some positives, such as the outpouring of support and charity from the rest of the world for Ukraine.
Why Should I Teach Your Child About the World?
Most children have seen and have been following the war through TikTok and other social media, and it is not always accurate and leads to confusing misinformation. This has made it very important for parents and teachers to ensure that children know the facts from reputable sources. Try limiting what they see on these platforms, as it can be terrifying not knowing the truth or situation of a particular video.
Misinformation is one of the biggest causes of anxiety. That is why avoiding talking about stressful situations such as war and not having an open conversation for questions and fears is never a good idea. However, by talking openly and honestly with your child about the war in Ukraine, you can also teach them about empathy and compassion. Regardless of distance, religion, or culture, teach your children that we are all human and need to respect and care about people regardless of their circumstances.
You can also educate them on the charities and organizations currently helping in this crisis. Donating or sharing correct information on social media can also give them a feeling of control and confidence.
Teach Your Child About The World But Remember – The World Keeps Turning
In conclusion, talking to your child openly and factually is the best way to ease their concerns and any anxiety they might be feeling about this war. Ensure that your conversations make them feel safe and secure and not be afraid to live their daily lives. Be ready to answer any questions or doubts they may have, and researching it together will create a more profound understanding for both of you.
*Please be careful which charities and organizations you are willing to donate to due to scams. The Global Empowerment Mission, Save the Children, and The International Committee of the Red Cross are reputable charities giving all monies directly to Ukraine or helping with food, shelter, and water.