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How to talk to your kids about the Israel-Hamas war

Posted at 5:52 AM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-23 10:50:28-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — In a devastating situation like the Israel-Hamas war, the images from the war can be graphic and confusing for children.

We know disturbing images from this war can cause feelings of panic and fear. So experts at Children's Hospital Colorado, suggests that parents find opportunities to start conversations with their kids and ask them open-ended questions about their feelings.

Dr. Lauren Eckhart from Children's suggests surrounding that conversation around social media because the images are especially hard for kids to see, even high schoolers.

Plus, this opens the door for communication and transparency, creating a safe place to help your child cope with their emotions. When a war results in this much death, destruction, and disruption, it is natural to be upset.

However, if you notice your child continues to be upset for several days or have persistent nightmares seek further support.
You may want to speak with your pediatrician, a teacher, or a mental health professional.

"With our younger kiddos, they're seeing that are incredibly graphic and that they've only ever seen in video games and that they don't understand that that's real life and what's happening to people so helping them to understand the difference between reality and what is happening on t.v. and the reality that they think that they see,” said Dr. Eckhart.

If your child tells you they feel anger or fear from the war, the first thing to do is listen. Let your child know their feelings are valid. Together, you can find healthy ways to deal with stress, like going for a walk or practicing meditation.

Dr. Eckhart also recommends limiting your child's screen time. Children's Hospital Colorado has a tool kitfor parents to use that talks about how to have these conversations with your child.


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