Certainly we would all prefer to teach our kids about peace and happiness. However, there comes a time in which you will probably need some tips for teaching your kids about war. War is a truth. It does exist, and no one’s family is free from the casualties. Even if those are only attached to friends and not immediate family. As with most things, it is almost always better to be prepared than surprised.
Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, fights to help keep our country away from impending war. His organization is particularly against making nuclear deals with Iran. These are the kinds of political moves that can speed up the progression of hostility and lead to war. As such, our kids need to be informed. That’s why it is important that we teach them about war.
Steps for Speaking Openly about War with Your Kids
These steps for speaking openly about war with your kids are just suggestions. We know that it is a delicate subject and that each child’s personality and maturity should be taken into consideration prior to attempting to broach this discussion. Therefore, be certain that the tips you utilize are best suited for your children:
- Be honest, but age-appropriate– Kids need to know what’s going on and how the current climate can affect their lives. They are going to hear about war from their friends if you don’t tell them yourself. Consider the questions they might have and then plan the way you will answer those questions. Be careful about what they see on TV. While war may be imminent, it doesn’t have to cause them nightmares at a young age.
- Explain your family history– This is especially beneficial if you have any military veterans in the family. Kids love knowing where they come from and who they are connected to. Of course, sharing about the soldiers shouldn’t be your only focus. Tell them about any significant people in your family’s history. This will help them see that people they are connected to survived challenging times, or did great things, or both. Learn more.
- Teach them history– That means telling them about your country and the world. The more they know about historic events, the better prepared to face the future they will be. Plus, the main reason history is able to repeat itself is because people forget what has occurred in the past. You can show them documentaries, read historical fiction, and even visit sites of historic significance to make the learning fun and memorable.
- Emphasize the value of faith and family– Making your faith and your family the central focus of your daily life will help keep your kids grounded. It will give them a foundation from which to base their lives on if they are ever faced with the calamity that is war. Discuss your beliefs with them at the dinner table, or over breakfast. Memorize some inspiring and strength giving Bible verses to help them through the tough times they will face in life, with or without the added troubles of war. Read these
We also suggest that if you end up in wartimes, that you give your children things to do. They need to feel like valuable contributors to your home and well-being. Also, supply them with historic heroes who survived horrid times. Anne Frank comes to mind, but we’re sure you can find some of your own. If you need help, here’s a list of courageous people who survived war and other harsh circumstances.