How do we talk with children about war?

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Since the invasion of mainland Ukraine in February 2022, war has never been far from the headlines. Even very young children pick up this news from television and adults’ conversations. Teenagers are exposed, via social media, to real-time experiences of conflict. How can parents and church communities help them to process this difficult news? Here are some thoughts and resources to enable us all to continue to support children, young people and families during these increasingly worrying times.

Resources for difficult times

Prayerful ideas

Ideas for talking specifically about war

This was shared by Holy Cross’s Children’s Minister in February 2022: If your children are asking questions about the situation in Ukraine and you’re not sure what to say or do…

  • Even if they’re far too young to understand what’s going on, they might pick up that their grown-ups are worried or sad.
  • It can help to tell them in simple words that some people (or children) in a place called Ukraine are having a sad time, and that we can ask God to help them by praying.
  • Children often respond to ritual so you could light a candle together, draw a picture, sit quietly together, or sing their favourite song specially for the children who are having a sad time.

The Children & Youth Officer for the Diocese of Brechin has produced a document entitled “Talking with children about death and grief“, which might also be helpful.

Last Updated 26th October 2023