I imagine that you, like many others, are in disbelief and shock as we witness the devastating events unfolding in Ukraine. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this unrest and violence, especially those in our Beauvoir community circle. When tragic events meet the eyes and ears of young children through conversation and the media, the ensuing worries can be difficult to assuage. Please know that Beauvoir encourages limiting child exposure with graphic details and traumatic events to provide appropriate emotional and physical safety during periods of uncertainty such as the one we are facing now.
There are times, however, when exposure is unavoidable and a young child may learn details from an older sibling, friend, family member, or witness something on the news that evokes concern. If your children raise questions or come to you with fears or worries, it is helpful to respond with empathy for the individuals and areas affected. Acknowledge the events, the sadness you feel and the hope for comfort. Children may have difficulty understanding why someone would engage in war, especially given our focus on the Life Rules—kindness, respect, responsibility, and honesty—in our classrooms and community. Reassure them that you are always available to listen to their questions and then answer them in an age-appropriate way, being careful not to provide more information than they need to process the situation (i.e., “Sometimes there are people who believe that war is the only way to resolve differences in beliefs or decisions. Fortunately, our family does not, and you can see how really bad things can happen when people let their anger take over. Do you have questions about something you heard or saw today?”) Ending your comments with a question allows you to gauge the situation appropriately and understand what direction you may need to take without “oversharing”.
Likewise, parents should notify teachers and Grade Level Directors in advance if your child(ren) will be coming to school with unusual fears or worries. We need to be mindful of their concerns. If you are a family in need of support and/or know of a family that might benefit from outreach, do not overlook your remarkable and caring teachers, Guidance Director, and Chaplain who are at the ready to assist as needed and provide resources. Ours is a caring community.