SAN DIEGO — News and social media are saturated with images from the war between Israel and Hamas.
While some parents may not want to bring up the conflict with their children, psychologists say that it may be a topic that they should consider broaching.
“Children are exposed to these things just as much as we are,” Dr. Diana Robbins, a child and family psychologist, told FOX 5 on Saturday. “Honesty is the best policy.”
To start the conversation, Robbins suggests asking an open-ended question to your child, such as “What have you heard about what’s going on in Israel right now?”
The answer will usually give parents an idea of what the child has been hearing and what their concerns are, which could differ depending on their age. A conversation can unfold naturally from there.
“I think younger kids are really concerned about their safety when they see these things,” explained Robbins. “Even sometimes pulling out a map saying this is where Israel is, this is where this is happening. This is where we are, we are safe.”
If parents are not sure how to answer a question from their child, Robbins says it’s okay to do a little research and come back to the conversation.
“Kids can handle so much more sometimes than we think that they can, so they can handle our honesty. They can handle having these conversations,” she said.
Robbins also recommends that children and parents find times to take a break from spaces where information may be coming out about the war.