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Experts advise speaking to children about conflict between Russia and Ukraine

Posted at 10:06 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 11:06:36-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As more images and footage of Russia's attack of Ukraine surface, it is important to remember that if we've seen it, that means young children could also be watching it.

This raises the question: how are adults approaching the conversation when it comes to explaining it to kids?

Mom's of Corpus Christi shared some of the conversations they've had with their children.

They all said they are open to answering questions about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to relieve any anxiety or stress kids could be feeling right now.

"She was asking me why they were being carried away,” Andrea Holmgreen said.

That's the question Holmgreen said her daughter, Addilyn, asked after seeing video of bombs going off.

“I'm having to figure out how to explain certain things,” she said.

It was Friday morning when Holmgreen said she was watching the news and Addilyn walked in.

This gave her the opportunity to have an open conversation with her daughter, but she admits some things were hard to explain.

"Its a difficult balance but an interesting conversation. There will probably be a lot more," she said.

Those conversations are also starting in the classroom.

“The biggest question I got asked yesterday and today: 'Is there going to be a World War III?'" middle school teacher Kasey Smith said.

At Marvin Baker Middle School, sixth grade world geography teacher Kasey Smith said kids are curious about current events and it's important to answer questions they might have and even use this as a teaching moment.

“Inform, be aware. Make those past connections. How did we as a country handle it in the past? How will we handle it, now? Get those good debatable conversations in the classroom,” said Smith.

Brenda Olson, a licensed professional counselor agreed that talking about it at school can help kids feel better if they're worried about what they're seeing or hearing.

Olson advises parents to have an open line of communication.

“Ask them questions and even ask them when you finish speaking to them. Do you have any questions for me? Is there anything you want to ask mom or dad about this?” She said.

By learning more about the Russian invasion of Ukraine at school and talking about it at home. Olson said we can limit the percentage of young kids who would otherwise be feeling stressed and overwhelmed about the future.

To reach Brenda Olson for a session, click here.