How to talk to children about the violence in Israel and Gaza

This article provides guidance on how to discuss with children the violence in Israel and Gaza.

Context: The recent Hamas attacks on Israel have had devastating effects on both Israelis and Palestinians, stimulating complex questions particularly among children.
* Children deserve a conversation about the conflict, regardless of their connection to the region.
* Parents are encouraged to anticipate questions and initiate conversations rather than waiting for children to bring up the topic.

Taking the initiative: Waheeda Saif, a program coordinator at Riverside Trauma Center, suggests using open-ended questions to engage with kids about the conflict.
* Older children should be taught to assess the reliability of sources and be skeptical of social media posts.
* Younger children might need reassurance about their safety and a spatial understanding of where the conflict is occurring.

The importance of preparation: Dimitry Anselme, executive program director at the education group Facing History & Ourselves, advises parents to ensure they are equipped with basic facts about the conflict.
* Providing kids with context is more important than drawing on personal political positions.

Strength of discernment: Children are capable of understanding complex issues and historical context can be valuable in forming a comprehensive perspective about the conflict.
* Maha Bali, a professor at the American University in Cairo, emphasizes the significance of providing historical insight to children to better comprehend the situation.

Acknowledge uncertainty: It’s important for parents to admit when they do not have all the answers, according to Sivan Zakai, a professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
* While children’s questions might seem complex, they often express underlying concerns about their safety and the state of the world.

View original article on NPR

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