It is a difficult time for Israel and for everyone who cares about the future of the Middle East. We are geographically removed from the horror of war unfolding in Israel, but we are not psychologically protected from the trauma. We must approach conversations with children understanding that they are emotionally vulnerable. Even far-away events can feel close to the heart.
The outbreak of war in Israel and the Gaza Strip has led to numerous casualties and injuries on both sides. The attack is being broadcast on TV and social media. Children need only glance at a grown-up’s phone to see horrific images. Even geographically remote wars viewed through a screen can feel proximate, touching children who have never personally experienced violence.
We must give children ample space and opportunities to ask questions, voice their fears and concerns, and have those fears and concerns validated by the trusted adults in their lives. We must also create and reinforce emotional safety anchors for our children, which, when children are faced with uncertainty and fear, can bring them back to where they need to be. Day-day routines and relationships with family members and friends are crucial to helping children feel safe.
The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of resources for educators, parents, caregivers, and others who work and live with children.
*adapted from an email sent by Perelman Jewish Day School