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Talking (and Drawing) with Kids about Ukraine
Suggestions, links and some adorable kid drawings to help with a tough time
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Talking with Kids about Ukraine.
Last week we released a new episode of the DrawTogether Podcast called “Sunflowers for Ukraine.” We invited families and kids to turn their feelings into art, and art into action by drawing sunflowers for Ukraine and hanging the drawings in our windows. Today we’re sharing some resources that might be helpful as we navigate conversations around Ukraine, war, and displacement around the world. Remember, drawing can help create a calm, safe space for challenging conversations. Some of our best talks while drawing together. <3
Here are a few resources on talking with kids about conflict, war, and displacement.
“The most important thing is for your child to feel secure. “Our primary role, whenever our child is feeling extremely anxious about something that’s happening in the world,” Dr. Silverman said, “is to help them to feel safe and heard.” - How to Talk to Kids About Ukraine in the New York Times.
This guide from CommonSense Media makes concrete suggestions for talking about violence and war with kids, with specific guidance for kids ages 2-6, 7-12, and teens.
Here’s also a helpful article from CNN on coping with anxiety that the war in Ukraine could - and probably is - causing. (Remember to put on our oxygen masks first before taking care of others.)
While “Fostering Civil Discourse” from the group Facing History and Ourselves is intended for educators working in classrooms, the “head, heart, conscience” approach to difficult conversations can be useful to all of us.
Also for classrooms but great for families with older kids, too, Dr. Dena Simmons’s LiberatED offers a guided approach to discussing Ukraine, including breathing exercises, journal reflection and group discussion. Dr. Simmons also introduces important contextual questions : “Who gets to be a refugee?… Who is welcome and unwelcome?” (Follow the amazing Dena Simmons and @LiberatED on Instagram.)
Have something you’d like to share? Please leave your thoughts or suggestions in the comments.
Thanks to Kate Levitt, DrawTogether’s Director of Education and Impact for many of today’s links. Everything is better when we DrawTogether.