Talking to your kids about world conflicts

Press Staff Writer

        With so much going on overseas right now, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the coverage – especially on social media where a lot of graphic videos and photos are being shared.
        And it’s not just adults seeing those troubling images – kids too are exposed to these images, too.
        So, what can parents do to help limit their exposure?
        “I know there can be recommendations to limit social media. The challenge can be that we want to keep the communication open and if parents are trying to limit social media, especially for adolescents, it can create sort of an area of conflict or just a problem with honesty,” said Amy Lee, PhD, pediatric psychologist for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
        She suggests parents instead have a conversation with their adolescent about why it can be important to take breaks from social media and what kind of content they should be avoiding.
        They can also ask them about whether they’ve seen anything on their feeds that could be upsetting.
        Dr. Lee said for younger kids, there should be more parental control over social media.
        However, if a child does see something they shouldn’t, it’s best to have open communication.
        She recommends talking to them about it in an age-appropriate way.
        “Younger kids are going to be more concerned with their own safety or changes that may happen in their own smaller world,” she said. “And so parents can offer reassurance, or they can offer simple explanations of how situations may be different in different places.”
        Dr. Lee said parents also need to be mindful of what they’re watching when their children are around.
        They could accidentally see or hear something that way too.


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