Talking to Kids About War & World Events

Date: 07/06/2023

Title: How Do I Talk To My Kid About the War In Ukraine?

00:00:00 Speaker 1
It. How do you talk to your kids about the war in Ukraine? Well, we're going to talk about that
today on tips on teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist,
and I specialize in helping kids, teens and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations,
teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501 C three organization, child and Teen Counseling,
both here in Woodland Hills, California. And every Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook
Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's jump into today's. I haven't quite gotten around
to talking to my kids about the war in Ukraine yet, and I know they're starting to hear stuff from
other kids at school. One of my friends said her son came home asking about World War Three, which
makes me think I should get a move on. How do I explain it to them and reassure them that we are safe?
Well, thank you for your question. I think it's a big topic. I think we're all thinking about
it right now, and it really depends on

00:01:03 Speaker 1
the age of your child. Obviously, you're probably going to be able to share more details with
your older teenagers than your younger elementary school kids, but really the details, what
you share are less relevant. What's I think more important is how you share it. Are you calm?
Are you reassured? Are you feeling confident in how you're approaching this? Because if you're
really upset and very emotional, that's going to impose that emotion on your kids. We need to
make sure that we are strong and stable emotionally so our kids can follow our example. Now,
it's tough because myself and many of you generation ex parents out there, we all grew up during
the Cold War where in any moment the Soviets could fly by and bomb us and the world was ending.
But somehow we got through it all. And I don't know if we're going into another Cold War or not.
I think it's a possibility, but I don't know. I know as much as you do, but we handled it, and our
parents were able to handle it. Our parents were calm

00:02:07 Speaker 1
about it most of the time. I think. I'm sure there were exceptions, but I think we need to stay
calm. And I think the tough thing about all this is the feeling of helplessness, about what seems
like an unnecessary, staggering loss of life and the tragedy that children and the people of
Ukraine and are going through and the people fleeing Ukraine and people dying of hunger and
war and all that stuff is helpless, and it feels horrible. And what I would recommend is if that's
where you are, taking action helps. Now, I'm not saying go grab a rifle and fly off to Ukraine,
but there are many organizations, nonprofits who are giving aid to the victims, to the refugees,
getting food, medicine, clothing, things like that. Like, I have a link down below for UNICEF,
which is one of the main organizations doing this. They're not the only organization, but they
are one organization. And if you wanted to, you could donate, your kids could donate. And if
you wanted your kids to be more active in donation,

00:03:08 Speaker 1
have them go collect recyclable bottles and cans, and every time they've got $50 worth of money
they've saved, they donate that to the cause. It's not a huge thing, but it's something. And
it helps you and your kids find something to do together in a common cause. And that may also help
you guys connect more, too. Which, again, I harp on this all the time. Connection, connection,
connection. Jump on connection. If this warm Ukraine, if the silver lining of this is you and
your kids find something that you can all rally behind and galvanizes you as feel like a team
where you are raising money for this cause of helping the kids and the refugees, then so be it.
Much better than being on TikTok. Another thing, last thing is make sure you're talking to kids
about where they're getting their news. Because as we know, TikTok and Instagram and YouTube
and other sources are not always the best source of news. Now, I'm not saying the main channels
of our news are always the greatest source of news

00:04:07 Speaker 1
either. You got to have to be choosy with where you get your news from, and not every news agency
is going to be as legit as the other. And which ones are those? It's really going to based on your
opinion, because we're all going to have different opinions on which news agency is reliable
and trustworthy. So make sure you have talks about this with your kids about where they're getting
their information from, because not all information is valid information. Anyways, that's
our talk for today. Thank you for your questions. Again, it's about how you say it, not what you
say it. I just want to make sure I put a pin in that for you guys. Again. My name is Kent Toussaint from
Teen Therapy Center and Child and Teen Counseling. We do every Wednesday. We do tips on teens.
We answer your parenting questions. If you like your question answered, email us at tipson or direct message us right here on Facebook or Instagram. We
love your questions. Thanks again. Have a great

00:05:01 Speaker 1
week and I'll see you next Wednesday. Bye. Bye, guys.

Talking To Your Kid About Troubling World Events

When it comes to talking to kids about war and world events, the age of your child will probably dictate the best strategy. For example, you ‘ll be able to share more details with your older teenagers than younger children. More important than what you share however is how you share it. Are you calm and reassured? Do you feel confident in how you’re approaching the topic? If you’re feeling upset and emotional you may transfer that response to your kids.

Teach Them To Do Something Constructive

If you’re feeling troubled, doing something about it can help you find the balance you need. Donating to UNICEF for example or doing something constructive you can do with your kids together will help you connect and reassure them.

It’s a big topic and we discuss it in this Tips On Teens video:

“I haven’t quite gotten around to talking to my kids about the war in Ukraine yet, and I know they’re starting to hear stuff from other kids at school. One of my friends said her son came home asking about ‘World War III,’ which makes me think I should get a move on. How do I explain it to them and reassure them that we’re safe here?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.