October 25, 2023

New fact sheet: Talking to children about war and conflict

It can be hard to know how to explain war and conflict to children, or if you should even talk about them at all. You may be struggling to make sense of what you’re seeing, hearing and feeling yourself. It’s normal to want to protect children from the violent reality of these events, but in today’s ever-connected world, it’s difficult to keep all media and information from reaching them.

Many children will end up either hearing about the war or seeing news footage or images on television or online, whether intentionally or accidentally in passing. Children may feel scared, angry, confused or overwhelmed by the events of the conflict, even if they don’t have a personal connection to the country or peoples involved.

Talking with children about their thoughts and feelings related to the event can be a healthy way to cope with any distress or worries they may have. This fact sheet has been adapted from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network resource, Talking to children about war and the Emerging Minds resource, Talking to kids after terrorism and violent events. It has been developed to support parents/carers to have honest, age-appropriate conversations with their children about war and conflict.

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