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How to talk to your kids about the war in Israel and what not to tell them

While parents and caregivers across America are trying to maintain calm at home despite what’s going on in the outside world, many are concerned about the war that has gripped Israel since October 7th. , wondering how, if at all, I should talk to my children. .

Fox News Digital asked Dr. Meg Meeker, a Minnesota-based pediatrician and author and creator of the podcast “Parenting Great Kids,” for advice and advice.

In the midst of the war in Israel, it’s time to “calm down the kids,” advised the doctor, who is also a mother herself.

During her long career working with children, she said, “I’ve had to talk to children and parents of all ages about war and national tragedies.”

Here are some tips for parents in light of events in the Middle East.

consider the age of the child

If your child is under 7 or 8, Dr. Meeker advised not to tell them anything about the war in Israel unless they ask.

“Children can’t handle such complex issues, and they start worrying that their mother or father will die,” she says.


Fox News Digital spoke to Dr. Meg Meeker, a Minnesota-based pediatrician and author and creator of the podcast “Parenting Great Kids,” for advice and advice on talking to children about the war in Israel. I asked for it.
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She said it’s overall important for parents to remember this. “Children don’t see things through an adult lens. They are more sensitive and are shocked when they see trauma, blood, burning buildings, and hear stories of people and children being tortured. Their hearts tell them that this can’t be real because their neighbors are good people. And they get confused.”

She added, “They feel shocked and confused at the same time, rationalizing in their heads that the TV or someone in the neighborhood must be wrong. They want to think the latter. Because it feels better and safer.”


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Still, “they’re scared,” Dr. Meeker added. “They think, ‘Will that happen to me? “What if someone steals me and tries to do something bad? What if they take me away from my mom and dad?” Then the fear sets in and they can’t sleep. They get anxious, upset, They yell at their siblings and can’t do their homework. They just act out. Why? Because they feel helpless too, but they don’t have a way to process that helplessness and fear.”

And this is why they need parents to watch over them and be there for them.


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If your child is around 8 to 11 years old, they probably listen to the news and what’s going on at school. “So there may be a conversation that needs to be had,” Dr. Meeker says.
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Keep the dialogue simple

If your child is around 8 to 11 years old, they probably listen to the news and what’s going on at school. “So there may be a conversation that needs to be had,” Dr. Meeker says.

Her suggestions for the actual discussion are direct.

“Keep the dialogue very simple,” Dr. Meeker said. “It reveals who is fighting whom and (very basically) why.”

She says, “Many parents fall into the trap of over-talking, giving their children too much information that they can’t process or understand. So, reassure them that there will be no war here.” Again, they’re more concerned about their lives and their parents’ lives than they are about the lives of other people who are fighting.”

Dr. Meeker added: “Tell them that the war has been going on for many years. If they ask you questions, answer them concisely. Remember that they cannot handle complex situations like adults.”

Limit children’s news exposure

“Children are traumatized by seeing war scenes and hearing about war over and over again,” Dr. Meeker says.

This situation can also be magnified in their minds, she says.

Explain what is going on when children are old enough to understand (pre-teens to teens).

If they are interested in political details, tell them. But don’t force it.

“Even though they understand more than young people, they still worry,” Dr. Meeker says.

She advised them to be very aware of what their children watch on TV and social media and take strong measures to limit it for the sake of their health.

Avoid political or divisive discussions

What is the reason for this advice?

“‘Kids are going to go to school and parrot what their parents say about the president, the administration, Congress, etc. And that’s divisive no matter how old they are. So now ‘Reassure your children that this is an issue,’ she advised. ‘This is not a war that will affect them. If it happens later, we will deal with it then.’ .

please calm down the children

She urged that now was the time to calm down the children.

Above all, “reassure them that everything is okay for them and their families,” Meeker says.

Also, tell them that it’s normal to be scared, she said. But remember, it won’t happen to you, so if you’re scared, just tell me. ”

She added: “Don’t tell your kids, ‘Life is really hard and you need to understand that bad people could come here and try to kill you or your friends at school.’ ” he added. This she is wrong for two reasons. One is that the chances of something like this happening are very low, and you’ll be scaring the child needlessly, and there’s not a single thing she can do about it. ”

For more of her advice, visit meekerparenting.com.

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