How to Talk to Your Girl About the Situation with Iran
International conflict is sadly nothing new, but thanks to social media and a 24-hour news cycle, kids are now exposed to the ins and outs of the global stage like never before. It’s no wonder they have questions about whether the United States is about to enter a new war, if there will be a military draft, whether attacks in the Middle East will affect their safety or that of their loved ones, and other topics being debated online.
In these challenging times, there's no need to have all the answers to calm and reassure your girl. Here’s how to navigate these difficult conversations and help put her mind at ease.
- Ask her how she’s feeling, and really listen to her answer. If she’s scared, nervous, or angry, explain that these feelings are normal in times of uncertainty and that sometimes just talking about them can help us feel better.
- Although it’s helpful to try to limit her exposure to the news as much as possible, know that she’ll be seeing reports and hearing opinions, even on the playground at school.
- Remind her that she shouldn’t believe everything she hears. When people get upset or worried, they sometimes jump to conclusions or make statements that aren’t necessarily based in facts, especially on social media. If she has questions about which information she can trust, check out our guide on teaching kids about fake news.
- If one of her loved ones is in the military and she’s worried about them, reassure her that every woman and man serving our country has been specially trained to handle these types of situations and that, while bad things do sometimes happen, there are grown-ups working to keep everyone as safe as possible.
- Create a family emergency plan. Explain that you’ll almost certainly never need it, but knowing where you’d meet up if you were separated or how to contact other adults who can help in a crisis will increase her confidence.
- Keep mealtimes, homework schedules, and bedtimes as normal as possible. Routine and predictability will help ground her in confusing times.
Check in with her as the days and weeks go by, and tell her you love her and are here for her no matter what. Most of all, make sure your girl has the time and space to ask questions and express her emotions. Just knowing that you take her thoughts and feelings seriously will help her feel more secure.