Developmentally-appropriate ways to talk about Afghanistan with your kids

Not sure how to dialogue about this crisis? You’re not alone.

Afghanistan. A heartbreaking topic that feels impossible to grasp, let alone talk about with the kids.

It’s hard for most of us, and there’s a biological reason for that. “We want to protect our children from stress and hearing about difficult things,” notes the executive director of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Trauma Training Center.

Elephant in the room or room for growth?

We’re rooting for the latter.

  • If your tween is open, the key is allowance. “Let them tell you how they feel, validate their feelings, and do not minimize them.”
  • If your teen is curious, invite more complexity and action. “Focus on what they can do or what you can do together. Maybe that’s learning more about the issues facing those seeking asylum, participating in a community event, or organizing a drive at school.”
  • If supporting girls and mothers in Afghanistan lights you and your kids up, consider how you can make a difference sooner rather than later.

Don’t underestimate the power of story.

How about the one where a former refugee from Iraq transforms crisis into opportunity? Abdallah begins medical school this fall.

So proud.

Written by Tiffany Wen

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