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Translator chokes up during Ukrainian President's speech
04:32 - Source: CNN

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CNN  — 

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has caused international outrage, and people around the world are feeling the stress and fear of watching the violence and wondering what will come next.

That includes your children. With so many images of violence and so few answers, your kids likely are aware of the fighting even if it’s far away – and they are probably terrified.

It can be daunting to talk to kids, especially younger ones, about war, and it may feel better to preserve your little ones’ bliss by keeping the topic out of their awareness.

But just because they aren’t hearing it from you, doesn’t mean kids aren’t getting information elsewhere, said Lee Chambers, a psychologist based in the United Kingdom.

It’s possible to have a developmentally appropriate and reassuring conversation with your children about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but it’s important to be intentional and attentive to your individual child, Chambers said.

“I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach,” he added. “All children are different.”

Ukrainian service members collect unexploded shells after fighting with a Russian raiding group in Kyiv on Saturday.

Monitor the TV

As adults worry about the state of the world, it may be tempting to keep the television on to stay abreast of every update – but psychologists say it could have impacts on kids in the home.

Children are like sponges, and often absorb more than we realize, Chambers said. They may be paying close attention to the images of bombs, missiles and violence, Chambers said.

Be open to questions