Whenever stories about armed conflict, terrorism or the possibility of war appear on television or in the news, considering the possible reactions of children and youth is important. Such topics quickly become a focus for daily discussions among people. Thinking of children’s reactions is especially important when the issues directly relate to their family life, such as the deployment of a parent for military service.
Children may not understand the political or military issues underlying such events, but seeing other children
on the news often captures their attention. After watching military families say goodbye on the national
news, for example, children in general may wonder if their parents will have to leave, too. Children who have one or both parents in the military may be faced with issues of separation and uncertainty. A child may have a teacher or sports coach who gets deployed for military duty. Older children might struggle with the different opinions concerning issues involving armed conflict or war. They may have questions concerning what should be done on a national or even global level. Talking to children about war and armed conflict as a parent or caregiver allows you to assist children in understanding the issues and dealing with their concerns and feelings.
Citation InformationBartoszuk, K., & Brotherson, S. (2003). Talking to your children about armed conflict. NDSU Extension Publication FS-636.
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