06/12/23 - 11:18:45 | Published in EPSS

Talking To Children About War & Conflict

Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Conflict and War: A Guide for Adults

When war and conflict dominate the news cycle, children and adolescents are inevitably exposed to a barrage of distressing information. This exposure can evoke a spectrum of intense emotions, ranging from fear and anxiety to anger, confusion, and sadness. Some children and teens may openly express these feelings, while others may manifest their distress through altered behaviors. These behaviors may include clinginess, separation anxiety, panic attacks, aggressive play, or excessive questioning. In some cases, children may adopt a dismissive or indifferent attitude towards conflict, a coping mechanism to conceal their underlying distress.

Children and adolescents rely on their trusted adults for guidance and support in navigating this emotionally charged landscape. They seek reassurance and clarification about the nature of the conflict, its potential impact on their lives, and the broader implications for the world. As supportive adults, we play a crucial role in helping children and teens process their emotions, develop resilience, and cultivate a sense of agency in the face of adversity.

This resource is designed to empower adults in supporting children and adolescents as they grapple with the complexities of war and conflict. It provides evidence-based strategies for fostering open communication, promoting emotional well-being, and nurturing a sense of hope and resilience in the midst of global challenges.

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