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In the age of social media, there is no doubt many kids and teens are seeing and hearing about the Hamas attack, the enormous loss of life on both sides and the war that is underway.

Research has shown that seeing traumatizing and distressing events can be incredibly unhealthy for kids and teens. Contrary to what many believe, talking with your children about troubling current events doesn’t make it worse, especially since they are likely to see the news on their own anyway. Having thoughtful conversations with your kids about the conflict can help them cope in a world where the news is both terrifying and uncertain.

To help answer your children’s questions and address their worry over the loss of innocent lives, we’re sharing advice on how to handle these sensitive discussions with your kids.

In a Facebook post from The Week Junior news magazine for kids, Editor-in-Chief Andrea Barbalich shared this guidance:

• Answer kids’ questions honestly and calmly, without providing more detail than is appropriate for their maturity level.

• Limit children’s exposure to news reports intended for adults, as well as videos and photographs. Many of the images are extremely graphic and difficult for anyone to process, especially children.

• Ask children what they know and what they think. Giving them a chance to share their thoughts helps them feel empowered, and letting them know you are there to listen is reassuring. If they are worried about something that is inaccurate, you can correct it.

For more guidance go to The Week Junior’s site.

 Here are some other resources that may be helpful as you navigate this topic with your kids and teens:

How to Talk About the Israel-Hamas War: Resources for Educators

How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime and War

Kids Are Watching War on Social Media: What Parents Should Know, Do

Taking to Children About War

How to Talk to Kids About What’s Happening In Israel Right Now

Helping Students in Troubling Times