We know that so many young people are processing difficult emotions right now as of the war in Ukraine plays out before their very eyes on screens. In a Digital Awareness UK webinar we gave yesterday, we were asked by a parent if we think they should talk to their child about what’s happening in Ukraine. And our answer was of course, yes.
Though it’s not an easy subject to navigate, the truth is, if your newsfeed is filled with upsetting stories and images about the war, theirs will be too. If you feel overwhelmed by everything that’s taking place, they probably do too. By opening up aconversation and asking how they feel about what’s happening and how they’re making sense of what’s being shared online, you can create a space for them to share any concerns that they may have with you.
Here are three questions you could think about asking to kick start the converstions:
- What are they seeing?
- What are they sharing?
- How is it making them feel?
It could be that they are spending quite a bit of time on social media, in which case you could encourage them to take regular breaks or set time limits for how long they spend on there. It’s also a chance for you to discuss which news sources you both know are reputable to help filter out any misinformation that could be weighing them down. You could even look for solutions together, seeking out local collection points or places to donate to refugees.
They may also feel swept away by the current and pressured into sharing information that they don’t feel comfortable with. Talking about everything that is going on will allow your child to have a clearer understanding of the situation and you to have a clearer understanding of how it’s affecting them.