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Navigating Conversations About War and Conflict with your Children

Parents and guardians have navigated difficult conversations over the last two years- racism, the pandemic, even death. As I write this post, war is ensuing in Ukraine. War raises anxiety in adults and children alike. Whether children live in a country that's directly impacted by the conflict or not, uncertainties can affect their mental health.

This week on Notes From A Child Psychologist Podcast, we examine how to discuss The War in Ukraine with children. This blog post will briefly discuss why and how parents should approach this delicate topic.

Like adults, children experience stress and tension, too. When wars occur, the news coverage, social media updates, and daily conversation bend towards what's happening 24/7. Children need a safe place to ask questions and gain understanding.

Adults should consider the child's age and abilities when approaching the subject. In the episode, I share conversation openers parents can use based on the child's cognitive level. The underlying reasons for conflict between nations may not be something you are familiar with - and that's okay! The purpose of the conversation is to understand how your child is feeling and establish yourself as a resource your child can use to discover answers (even if you have to look them up).

Lastly, timing is everything - in previous episodes, we discussed setting aside planned time to talk with your children. Some families choose to have family meetings, while others use dinner time to discuss current events. What your family does should be based on your values. To hear more about this subject - Tune into this week's episode of the podcast.

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