There is so much bad news everywhere in the moment, from the war in Ukraine, Gaza and Israel and floods and earthquakes. I don’t know how much to talk to my children about it and I don’t want them to be so worried but they are already asking a lot of questions. How should I manage these conversations?
You are very welcome to ask Robyn. Your concern is extremely valid, and it sounds like you are aware of the impact of all this constant bad news that seems to just keep coming. Your children may be asking questions, and they may be worried also about something happening closer to home. It is important to have these conversations in an age-appropriate way.
It is really positive that your children feel they can come to you with questions that they have, this shows that you are a safe base for them, so it is important to acknowledge the questions they have and offer them reassurance. Remind them that you are here for them whenever they want to talk. You can respond with, “it sounds like you are quite worried about what is going on in… “ or “It does sound quite scary what is going on in XX I’m not sure about what you have just asked but let me find out for you and we can talk about it later.”
It is important to check in with how you’re coping with the news and how you feel about having these conversations. It is important that we remain calm and in control of our emotions so that we don’t add further worry to our children. Make sure you have someone to talk to yourself who you feel safe with if these conversations do upset you.
Another thing to consider is where are your children accessing information from? There may be videos going around online or conversations in school, it is important to monitor your children online, and maybe even link inn with school if you think these conversations my need to be approached in a different way. It may also be good to introduce rules or boundaries about how much you talk about the news and time spent online and screens as we know this can impact our mental health. It may help to allow specific time for these types of conversations e.g. “worry time” or certain time for tv or going online.
We hope you have found this helpful but if you would like to talk more about this, you can contact ISPCC’s Support Line which can be contacted by email to [email protected] or by phone from Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm on 01 5224300
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