With so much going on in the world, it can be very difficult to protect your child from the knowledge that might worry or confuse them. A prime example of this is the war between Russia and Ukraine. This is a massive event globally and is worrisome even to adults. As a result, it can be in your interest to talk to your child about this topic before they hear from some other source.

Ask your child how they feel about it. Allow them to express what they feel. If they are afraid or don’t know how to express themselves, consider telling them how you feel. Be sure that you do not give too much gruesome detail, especially when talking with younger or more sensitive children.

Stick to a normal routine before and after you start this discussion. A routine can help a child feel more stable and comfortable, especially with a situation or topic that feels unfamiliar to them.

When it comes to topics like this it can be very tough to keep a positive mindset, especially for children. Assure your child that countless people and organizations are trying their best to help resume peace in Ukraine, and how you as a family can support the numerous people who have been affected both in and out of the country. Show them they can help. They can write letters, or you can prepare a care package together for soldiers or civilians.

Try not to sugar coat too much, and be prepared for very difficult questions. Your child might ask why this is happening or who is responsible. It is important to prepare for these questions so they do not catch you off guard.

Whether your child has questions or not, they will have concerns that they will worry about. Do what you can to make them feel better. One way to do this is by mildly limiting their exposure. Allow them to research the events taking place, but perhaps do not allow them to look at photos or watch videos about what is going on. Keep exposure supervised as much as possible.

Most importantly, make them feel safe. In the end, the best you can do is let them know what is going on, how you feel about it, encourage them to say how they feel, and comfort them.