How to discuss the Ukrainian Crisis with your child
This blog discusses different methods of talking about the Ukrainian conflict with your child and ways of managing 'fake news'.
In recent times, the news has been dominated by coverage of the developing situation in Ukraine. You may be wondering how to discuss this subject with your children or answer their questions about the unfolding events. We have compiled this four-step guide to help parents and carers better understand how to broach the topic, or whether to at all.
1) Should I even mention the Ukrainian war to my child?
Talking about the conflict is very important. When a volatile situation is being broadcast on every channel, having an open conversation about it can help your child to understand and ease some of their anxieties. You can be honest if you don’t know the answer to something, none of us really know what lies ahead, but sheltering your children from what is happening can worsen their worries; if they want to know, they will find out for themselves.
2) Use reliable sources
Make sure you are using reliable news sources when looking into what is happening in Ukraine. There is a lot of ‘fake news’ and scaremongering happening in the news and online. Public service broadcasters such as ‘BBC News’ or ‘CBBC Newsround’ are often seen as more reliable as they are meant to present unbiased and accurate news to inform the public.
3) Identify 'Fake News'
Fake news can be difficult to spot. A lot of ‘fake news’ is spread on social media. There are some things you can do to make sure the news stories you are reading are genuine. Here is a quick checklist:
- Check the title – is the headline of the article clickbait or a joke? If it is, then this could mean the article isn’t serious or reliable.
- Check the URL – firstly check the website you have been taken to, whether it’s ‘BBC’ or ‘ITV’ or ‘SKY News’, etc. Looking at the URL of the website address, you should check if the address has ‘.org’, ‘co.uk’, ‘.com’, these are usually found in the addresses of official websites.
- Check the Author – the author of the post your reading is important. If there is a named author of a post, you can find other articles they have written. If the article has no author, this is usually an indicator of the article being fake.
4) Use existing resources
If you’re struggling to explain what is happening to your children and need some assistance, Newsround wrote this fantastic article, giving explanations into what is happening and why. It is written with young people in mind and is easy to understand. You could read this article with your child, or encourage them to read it themselves and then ask you any questions they may have about it.
We know that this isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but children will have questions, and we can only try to answer them to the best of our ability as the situation progresses.
To view more helpful resources about the Ukrainian conflict, have a browse of the links below.