talking with kids about the war in Ukraine

Four resources for talking with kids about the war in Ukraine and other difficult topics

Photo above by Ricky Turner via Unsplash.

Last week, my son asked a question that I didn’t see coming: “If Russia’s war on Ukraine turns into World War Three, will school be closed?”

I got the sense that it wasn’t an entirely serious question, and yet he was expressing real concern after seeing videos on Tiktok about the ways the war in Ukraine could escalate. That same week, his school held a safety drill that included preparing for the possibility of an active shooter situation. And all this after two years of pandemic-disrupted schooling.

This can be a challenging time for kids of every age, and parents may not always know what to say or how to approach difficult subjects.

Whether you’re wondering about talking with kids about the war in Ukraine or tackling other subjects, we thought it would be helpful to point you toward some of the resources we’ve shared in the past year:

Lastly, we wanted to share a link to a helpful e-book called “A Kids Book About War,” by Sarah Jones. It’s available for free here, though you’re welcome to choose to make a small donation which will be shared with UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and the nonprofit You can download this free book in a variety of formats, including as a PDF or for reading on a Kindle.

And if your children would like to learn more and perhaps make an effort to help children affected by the war in Ukraine, your family can explore the campaign portal for #PghForUkraine. This is a partnership between the Pittsburgh Foundation and United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania to help with United Way’s global #UnitedForUkraine campaign, a multinational effort to direct much-needed donations to United Way organizations in the countries welcoming Ukrainians fleeing the war.