Will Our Children Know War?

war and childrenWar.

It’s defined by Merriam-Webster as a period of “open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations … a state of hostility, conflict”; Wikipedia says war is characterized “by extreme violence, social disruption, and economic destruction … an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will”; and as a parent, I define it as the horrifying unknown, the terrifying crumble of innocence, the loss of loved ones – fathers, family, and friends – and a tragic result of greed and power.

How do you explain war to children, without tarnishing their simple and pure minds?

If you keep up with the news, you know that currently, “the Obama administration is laying the groundwork for potential military action in Syria in the coming days, with intelligence agencies readying additional evidence about last week's alleged chemical weapons attack,” according to this article (as well as many other reputable news sources).

Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the “international standards against chemical weapons ‘cannot be violated without consequences.’”  However, according to Lakhdar Brahimi, “any U.S.-led military action must first gain approval from the 15-nation Security Council, whose five permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – each have veto power.”

I don’t want to discuss the politics involved with these circumstances. Whether I will agree or disagree with the Obama administration's final decision does not matter. The children – our young children – are where my thoughts turn to as I learn of new updates and discoveries.

I'd like to open up a discussion among us all to share our ideas on appropriate ways to discuss, and not discuss, these things with our children.

What will you say if your child comes home from school and asks about it? How much will you share, and how much will you withhold? And if, someday, war becomes a visible part of your children’s lives, how will you prepare and protect them, and help them feel safe?

Do you have a loved one who is active in the armed forces? How would you explain “war” to your children?

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What do you think?

Will Our Children Know War?

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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3 comments

  1. Brie says:

    I would really hate for my daughter to know nothing but violence in the world but that honestly looks how things are going America is at war with not only other countries but also the people of America are at war with each other. This scares me for Arianna.

    • mommy nhoj says:

      It scares me too. With the current issue on Ukraine, Russia and USA – I hope it wont reach that point. My husband said that seemingly 3rd world war is eminent!

  2. Phammom says:

    To me I would talk to them based on their age about war such as you would about where babies come from. The younger the less details.

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