Supporting Your Children with the Ukraine Conflict

Ukraine Solidarity Image from St George's.jpg

All of our community has been distressed by the conflict and invasion in Ukraine.  It affects us all.  Children, staff and the adults in our community are all wrestling with how we respond to the growing crisis for the people of Ukraine.

We have found our children from nursery to Year 6 have had many questions and anxieties about what is happening.  As time has gone on our children have been asking more questions.  Although our instinct may be to protect our children from the horror of what has happened, it is impossible to shield our children from the images that are on newspapers, the internet, television and social media.

If families and school don’t talk to our children about this, they will talk about it themselves and be at risk of misinformation and unresolved fears.  That message has been communicated to schools directly by the Education Secretary and the Children’s Commissioner.

In addition to the horror of what the people of Ukraine are facing, it is also the first time that many of us have faced the risk of peace in mainland Europe being under threat. 

At St George’s, we are taking an age-related approach to the crisis in Ukraine.  Discussing war and conflict is a challenging subject with Primary School children. They are a generation that has grown up with war becoming a distant or historical threat.

We feel that the best way to approach any issue that causes children concern is to:

  1. Provide quality time for discussion, to give the information that they need.  Whilst this must be age appropriate, we have to recognise that our children are getting information from their friends, television, the internet and online.  If we don’t talk to them about these issues, they often have misinformation and their fears increase.
  2. Help our children to see what small things we can do to help.  The reality is that the people of the Ukraine are facing a huge humanitarian crisis.  We need to help.  We need to send our support and messages to promote their safety, welfare and peace.   We have also been fundraising and support international aid appeals.   As we move forwards, we are also preparing for the reality that we can and should welcome refugee families for the conflict in Ukraine.
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Children's Bird Of Solidarity (Nightingale is the symbol of the Ukraine)

 

We have found this challenging as a staff team and had to think deeply about how we manage this.  We know that our families will be facing the same issues.  In the page we have collated some resources that you can use with your children if they are helpful.

News delivery designed for children and young people and provided by Newsround.   https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround#more-stories-2

Also added free First News newspapers on Ukraine at the end of this page.

Advice for children and young people if they are upset by the news – provided by Newsround. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/13865002

‘A delicate balance’: experts’ tips on dealing with Ukraine anxiety in children | Children | The Guardian

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2022/02/25/help-for-teachers-and-families-to-talk-to-pupils-about-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-and-how-to-help-them-avoid-misinformation/

https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/

https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/how-to-talk-with-students-about-the-russia-ukraine-war-5-teaching-tips/2022/02

https://www.familyeducation.com/life/wars/talking-children-about-war-violence-world

Parent information and support pack: 

How to talk to your teenager about the invasion of Ukraine (BBC Bitesize/Anna Freud Centre)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zbrdjsg

How To Talk To Your Child About The War In Ukraine (Young Minds)
https://www.youngminds.org.uk/parent/blog/top-tips-for-talking-to-your-young-person-about-the-events-in-ukraine/

Worrying about Russia and Ukraine (Childline)
https://www.childline.org.uk/get-involved/articles/worrying-about-russia-ukraine/

 

As adults we may have our own anxieties and should share and discuss these.  Health Blog have issued a simple guide and support point for adults:

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/stressed-by-whats-going-on-ukraine-how-to-cope-and-help

 

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