"When conflict or war makes the headlines, it can cause feelings such as fear, sadness, anger and anxiety wherever you live." — How to talk to your children about conflict and war, Unicef.org.
News stories and social media such as TikTok and YouTube that show graphic images of war may cause teens to experience intense emotions. Students with families in regions in conflict may already be experiencing fear, worry, or other strong emotions. Students with parents or family in the military may experience anxiety, uncertainty, or fear that their family will be deployed into combat.
Tips for talking with Teens about war and emotions
UNICEF offers tips for talking with students about conflict. And Common Sense Media has similar topics to help expand the conversation. Here are eight tips for talking with your teens about war and strong emotions.
- Ask them what they know and how they are feeling.
- Affirm their emotions as valid. It's OK to feel however they feel.
- Look up information with your teen and talk about the situation.
- Offer compassion and hope, not stigma and judgment.
- Focus on solutions that are within your teens' control.
- Check-in with them often.
- Limit news and social media time spent "doomscrolling."
- Take care of yourself.
Emozi® Middle School SEL lessons
Below are several Emozi® Middle School lessons and resources to help students work through challenging emotions brought up from current events.
- Unit 1, Lesson 5: Pressure and Stress
- Unit 1, Lesson 12: Responsibility and Accountability
- Unit 2, Lesson 2: Optimism
- Unit 2, Lesson 3: Grief
- Unit 3, Lessons 1: Resilience
- Unit 3, Lesson 3: Fear Less
- Unit 3, Lesson 5: Respect for Living Things
- Unit 3, Lesson 6: Community Involvement
- Unit 3, Lesson 12: Perseverance and Hope
- Unit 1, Lesson 9: Stress
- Unit 1, Lesson 10: Healthy Choices
- Unit 1, Lesson 11: Conflict
- Unit 2, Lesson 3: Advocacy
- Unit 2, Lesson 5: Fear
- Unit 2, Lesson 7: Overcoming Obstacles
- Unit 2, Lesson 12: Empathy
- Unit 3, Lesson 2: Stress Reduction
- Unit 3, Lesson 7: Resilience
- Unit 3, Lesson 8: Emotional Awareness
- Unit 3, Lesson 12: Community Involvement and Giving Back
- Unit 1, Lesson 10: Ethics and Integrity
- Unit 1, Lesson 12: Kindness and Compassion
- Unit 2, Lesson 9: Conflict
- Unit 2, Lesson 12: Loss
- Unit 3, Lesson 8: Negotiating
- Unit 3, Lesson 9: Public Speaking
- Unit 3, Lesson 10: Generosity
SCOPE Activity for Managing Strong Emotions
Share this worksheet with your students (or use it yourself) as an exercise to manage strong emotions.