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How to talk to your teens about the conflict in Afghanistan

Afghan refugees
Posted at 5:52 AM, Aug 30, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — The news about the Taliban taking over Afghanistan is nearly everywhere. It's likely our kids have also seen the heartbreaking images of refugees trying to flee the country and if they don't quite understand. Here's how child psychiatrists say parents should approach these questions.

For kids who are seven and younger, child psychiatrists say parents should refrain from speaking about war and other tough topics unless the child brings it up first. If they have do happen to ask about the events, or if you believe your child is old enough to have this type of conversation, you can kick off the topic by asking open-ended questions. like "What have you seen or heard?"

Experts say this is also an opportunity to find out where their child is getting their current event information, address any concerns they might have, and provide as much factually correct information as possible.

"Technology and media, play a very complicated role in young people's lives," the founder of Common Sense Media, James P. Steyer, explains. "I think for parents and educators, the number one thing you have to do is have an ongoing dialogue and open communication with your child. Let them know it's okay to not be okay."

If your child is a teen, consider encouraging them to write a letter to their congressperson or another government official. You can also help them to get involved in fundraisers and volunteer efforts that support our troops and Afghan refugees.

For more information, click here.