How to talk to children about war?
Until recently, children may not even know the essence of the word war. However, war has become a major theme and evokes many feelings in each of us. Fear, uncertainty, anxiety. All this can be felt by our children, who need to find a sense of security in us.
This topic should not be taboo. On the contrary, if we see changes in the child or his / her questions resonate, we should not omit this topic from the conversation. In this post, we have prepared some tips for you on how to talk about the war with the children.
- Don't lie to them. It is very important to provide children with truthful information, taking into account their age. Don't pretend like "it's not happening."
- Create suitable conditions for the interview. It is important that children feel calm and safe.
- Give the kids space. Let the children know that you understand them and that you understand that you are here for them. Take an interest in their feelings and help them express them. Don't make it easy or question it. Emphasize that even negative feelings and fears are normal in this situation.
- Avoid harmful prejudices and stereotypes. Stick to the facts.
- Take an interest in their opinion. Ask the children what they think about it and let them know, that you are happy to talk to them about it. Listen to them carefully, find out what they already know, what and where they heard ir from and how they found out about it. Talk to them about everything they can see and hear in the media. Find out how they perceive this situation. Listen carefully and react responsibly, the child may not be prepared for full details.
- Take care of yourself first. If possible, try to calm down and only then contact the child. It's perfectly okay for a child to say "I'm also worried, I'm not feeling well, it's a difficult situation", but don't let that flood you when communicating with your child.
- Let's be a good example for children. It is important for children to see how we approach things. In this way, we will help them deal with their own fears.
- Admit the difficulty of the situation.
- Show children examples of people and organizations that help. Try working together to find a way to get involved.
- Promote solidarity, compassion, help, equality, kindness and respect for others.