Our psychologist: How to Talk to Children about Ukraine

Så kan du prata med barn om hemska händelser.

The conflict in Ukraine is escalating. Here in Sweden, many children are experiencing concern and worry about the situation. Our psychologist Hanna Thermaenius has some advice about how to talk to children about Ukraine.

  1. Take the fears of children seriously and listen to their questions. Allow children to express their concerns in words. They can have a completely different picture of what is happening in Ukraine than what adults have.
  2. Answer calmly and be concrete. Don’t go into details if the child doesn’t ask for them. Remember to differentiate between your feelings and those of the child. Don’t project your own worries onto the child.
  3. Say things that give children hope. Try to impress upon them that it is adults who have the responsibility to find solutions. Explain that many people right now are working for an end to the conflict. Remind them that adult experts are not worried about the war spreading to Sweden.
  4. Try to take a break from news and adult discussions about the conflict in Ukraine.
  5. Ask children to be careful about what they see and hear on social media. Explain that false information is easily spread on social media. Tell children to ask a nearby adult if they wonder about something being correct or not.

Hanna Thermaenius, psychologist at Rädda Barnen.

Read more about what we do for children in Ukraine (in Swedish)