What do you say if your kids ask you about the situation with Iran?

The unknown of the situation with Iran can be unsettling for many of us, and as more and more troops are sent to the Middle East it can be especially confusing and alarming for children.

This can be a difficult conversation for many parents.

Children born since 2001 have never known a country that wasn’t involved in a war. Shortly after the news of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s death, “World War Three” began trending on social media.

A parent coach told WFXT that just because your family may not be directly affected by what's happening in the Middle East right now, it doesn't mean you shouldn't talk about it.

“Talk of war and acts of terrorism can be confusing and scary for anyone, especially children,” said Beth Greenawalt, a certified parent coach based in Milton, Massachusetts. “Ask them what they heard and then you can specifically address what their worries are."

Greenawalt says to be patient; your child may be hearing things that make them worried. She also suggests to be careful in what you share, as well as asking the same thing over and over; repetition helps children absorb the information.

"I always caution parents only address the question that they ask you,” she said. “We have a tendency as adults to go into way too much detail and give more information than often young children need to know."

And it's not just young children. Many teenagers are also on edge. The website for the Selective Service crashed as people flooded the site after a rumor of a military draft spread.

 

Every year millions of men are required by law to register when they turn 18. The Selective Service System assured people on Twitter that, if the draft were necessary, it would require both congressional and presidential approval.

 

"I would go with them online and discuss and find out what is real and true and help them curate what is actual information rather than what is just being sensationalized and put out there," Greenawalt said.

Women are not currently required to register. Signing up for the Selective Service does not enlist a person in the military.

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