LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The conflict in Israel is a huge talking point right now, and it has some parents wondering how or if it’s something that should be brought up to kids.
Dr. Michelle Martel is with the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. She’s the parent of a 6-year-old, meaning she’s one of many parents trying to navigate the conflict in Israel.
“I do definitely think adults should monitor them, and parents in particular should monitor their own kind of mental health around these things as well as making the best decisions for your child,” Martel said. “I would say trying to limit your exposure and watching the news in front of your kids until maybe after bedtime or in the morning before they get up or after they get out of the vehicle is probably my best recommendation.”
It’s not always so easy, though, since news travels fast in today’s day and age. When a child hears the news about the conflict, the parent must then act accordingly.
“Sometimes kids will hear stuff at school and come home and ask. I really suggest again, you keep it minimal. Keep the focus on their own safety and the fact that this is going on far away. I would get into it with younger kids as little as possible just because they’re not of the age to be able to understand it comprehensively,” Martel said.
In the event that a child hears about the conflict without the parent’s influence, the next step becomes ensuring the child that this conflict is overseas and answering any lingering questions.
“Definitely keep the focus on the child’s safety. Kids are very what we call egocentric, meaning the focus is on them, so you can do a lot for your child just by saying, ‘Hey, this is happening really far away; it does not impact us here. We are relatively safe because we do have a lot of distance from that situation,’ and then any discussion you get into focusing on like this is happening to other people far away, I think that that will help too,” Martel said.