Resources for students: talking about the invasion of Ukraine
Your Pennsylvania PBS stations have assembled a collection of resources to support you as you talk with students about Ukraine. We share an essay from parenting columnist from PBS KIDS, Deborah Farmer Kris, who offers guidance on talking with young children. You’ll also find resources for students to learn more about the history of Ukraine, as well as mental and emotional health resources.
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.”
– Fred Rogers
How to Talk to Kids About the Ukraine Invasion
By Deborah Farmer Kris, parenting columnist for PBS KIDS
This story was originally published by PBS SoCal
Many kids may be hearing about the situation in Ukraine. Our instincts may be to avoid talking to them about tough stuff on the news, but if we don’t, they’ll piece it together from other places. Our job is to provide our kids with accurate, age-appropriate information, while reminding them that they are safe and they are loved. Here’s how.
I want to talk to parents and caregivers of preschool and elementary-age kids for a moment. The news right now out of Europe is scary. Sometimes, our instinct is to avoid talking to kids about tough stuff on the news because we don’t want to upset them. And perhaps we don’t know where to start.
My kids are on school vacation this week, but when they return, their classmates will be talking about Russia and Ukraine. So, if my kids haven’t had conversations with me about it first, they’ll get their initial information from someone else.
I’m not advocating sticking young kids in front of cable news. But there’s an insight from Fred Rogers that touches all aspects of my parenting: Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary. Our job is to provide our kids with accurate, age-appropriate information, while reminding them that they are safe and they are loved.
PBS NewHour Classroom – for older students
PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs
On Our Minds– a five-episode podcast – led and produced by high school students – about the biggest mental health challenges young people face. Includes a guided meditation episode to help recognize, center and acknowledge emotions.