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Global Crisis

How to Guide Your Child Through the Global Crisis

February 28, 2022     By Boys Town Contributor

Crisis, social media, Stress

Information about the conflict in Ukraine is frightening and widespread across television and social media. During this time, it's important for parents to be increasingly diligent in monitoring and supervising the information their children are accessing online. It's also important to give them the opportunity to ask questions and express any feelings they may have.

In these difficult times, you can ease your child's stress by doing the following:

  1. Limit media exposure. Parents should make sure the crisis does not occupy their full attention, distracting them from attending to their children and typical routines. Parents may have to wait until the children are asleep before pursuing further information and conversation about the situation.
  2. Talk with your children...and soon. It's likely your children will already be aware of what happened, so it's important to find out what they know and how they're feeling. Let them express their emotions and try not to tell them how they should feel. There is no right or wrong way to feel.
  3. Stick to the facts. Your children may hear exaggerated or embellished versions of what happened. Use concrete terms and be brief.
  4. Give your children a chance to ask questions. If they have difficulty communicating their feelings, encourage them to communicate in a way that works for them - journaling or drawing, for example. 
  5. It's okay to show vulnerability. Your children learn through experiencing and watching. They can learn how to cope simply by seeing how you grieve and manage during difficult times.
  6. Continue normal routines. Routines can be comforting and help bring back a sense of normalcy.
  7. Practice coping skills. If you think your child is having problems dismissing the situation, encourage them to try some of the coping skills listed in the article below.

Additional resources for talking with children about the unexpected can be found in our Guide to Parenting Through Crisis or in the articles below:

Helping Children Cope with the Unexpected

Feelings and Coping Skills

Trauma, Tragedy and Children

For additional advice, help and resources on parenting through a crisis, contact the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. Trained counselors are available 24/7.

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