Parent’s Guide to Conversations About Ukraine

The developing situation in Ukraine might be a scary time for kids worldwide. With that fear come tough questions and even a daunting sense of responsibility to have an open dialogue with your family about the crisis in Ukraine.

It may feel like an unfathomable space to navigate as a parent on top of dealing with the ever-changing landscape the pandemic brings. We at the New Victory Theater want to make sure you’re not alone during this challenging time. If you’re going to have a conversation with your kid about the tragic situation in Ukraine, we have you covered.

Below, we’ve gathered some resources to help guide the conversation in a way that feels safe for you and your family.

Kids tend to mirror their guardians’ emotions and behaviors.

It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” It’s normal to be scared during moments like these. Validate your own feelings and validate your kid’s as well. This article from The Guardian is great for parents with kids in elementary or middle school.

Turn off the news and social media.

Being bombarded with graphic images of war and explicit content out of context isn’t helpful or healthy.  Set aside time to gauge both your and your kid’s comfort level, and look for reliable sources of information that can help make objective sense of the situation. This article from The New York Times is great for parents of tweens or teenagers living active lives on social media.

Talking with your kids about war and tragedy doesn’t have to be hard.

If you have kids of varying ages, it’s best to tailor the information proportionally to their ages and comfort levels. You know your kids the best. This article from The Conversation is great for parents that want general advice on how to start a conversation.

Support your kid’s philanthropic side.

If they want to help, find avenues for them to assist. Young people have a long history of making changes in the world. Let them be a part of that tradition—kids have a voice! This article from Save the Children is great for parents with empathetic kids.

Reassure them.

Everything is going to be okay. Your child has witnessed a once-in-a-century pandemic, ubiquitous school shootings, and now war. We will get through this together. This article from ABC News is great for parents with kids of various ages.