Ukraine crisis: How to approach the Ukraine/Russia conflict with your children | World | News

Although raging thousands of miles beyond Britain’s shores, the invasion attracted a nationwide relief effort. People have started donating to centers across the country, providing whatever supplies they can get to help others they may never meet. Some schools have opened as donation points, which has likely sparked questions from young Britons about what’s going on.

Should you talk to your children about the Ukrainian crisis?

International geopolitics is a difficult subject to broach for adults with children, who are spending their early years in a much smaller world.

But they will likely sense the dramatic public rally behind Ukraine and have questions about it.

Although it has produced all sorts of horrors for people living near the active conflict, psychologists believe that children should know what is going on.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson’s message to Ukrainians in full – ‘Putin must fail’

Torsten Andersohn, a Berlin-based family counselor and psychologist, said Scientific American parents should talk to their children about the fights “especially if you yourself are affected by the situation”.

He said Europeans would likely fear fighting would escalate towards their country.

Mr Andersohn said he would not wait for children to ask their own questions, although that would be “great”.

If parents worried about the situation do not open up, “tensions arise”, he added.

Children may end up thinking they are to blame for the extra household stress.

Mr Andersohn said: “We must not put this responsibility on them.

“And we must not leave them alone with these tensions.”

Exactly how people explain the situation to their children “depends on age”, he added.


Mr Andersohn said: “Young children, in particular, do not yet have the same moral concepts as adults.

“So they often ask very scientific questions and above all want to understand.

“As a result, it makes sense to engage with children and answer their questions.

“In doing so, adults might say, for example, ‘war is something that destroys life’.”

Parents may also want to explain that in times of war people use guns, “houses are destroyed” and adults fear for their children.

Although dark in reality, parents can also appeal to their child’s playful side.

They could use building blocks to engage them and illustrate the situation or use drawings and pictures.

Ultimately, Andersohn said, adults should approach the discussion with “as much openness as possible” and “without lectures” to foster “shared dialogue.”

Christi C. Elwood