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Guidelines to Consider when Explaining the Russia-Ukraine War to Elementary Students

By Ben Fishman
Guidelines to Consider when Explaining the Russia-Ukraine War to Elementary Students

The following is a guideline to consider when explaining the Russia-Ukraine War to elementary students. With all discussions, remember that the most important tip is to keep your conversations simple and easy to understand.

  • Conversations should be developmentally appropriate. The age of your students will dictate how much information is shared. Discussing topics that may seem scary to kids, such as war, will vary significantly from a conversation with a five-year-old to one with an eight-year-old. 
  • Give enough information to satisfy your students’ curiosity and answer their questions; however, best to not go into detailed information. Start the conversation with general questions, such as, “Do you know what part of the world the Ukraine is located? Have you heard anything about what's taking place there?”  Honesty is always the best policy if there's a question you do not know the answer to and when answering students’ questions.
  • Consider tailoring the conversation based on what they already know, what they are seeing and hearing from friends and the media.
  • Show students a map and then explain where their city is located and where the conflict is happening. Then see what questions they have and answer them in simple terms without being too wordy.
  • Reassure students that they are safe and remind them that they can always speak with you or a school counselor when they need any type of help and support.
  • Be aware of how much social media or media students are being exposed to and encourage parents to place limits on the amount students consume.
  • Reach out to your school counselor for resources and extra support.

Dr. Benjamin Fishman is the Elementary School Counselor at Concordia International School.

WeChat: Ben8888868

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