How To Explain Russian and Ukrainian War To Your Child?

I have a 9 year old daughter who kept asking about the on-going war between Ukraine and Russia.  It is all over the internet and I could not simply ignore her innocent inquiries. So I asked the help of my husband and together we answered her questions.  Here is how our conversation went more or less.

The first question was, what is Ukraine and what is Russia?

Our answer: Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe while Russia is part of Europe and Asia.

Second Question: Why did Russia attack Ukraine?

Our Answer: As we understand the news, the Russian government wants to invade Ukraine because it does not want it to join the European Union and NATO groups. The Russian government thinks that it will be a threat to their nation’s security if Ukraine joins these groups.

Third Question: What is a threat? And why is Russia so afraid of Ukraine joining EU and NATO  ?

Our Answer: Think of it this way, there was a classmate who you had a quarrel before. It is been a long time already but every time she goes near you, you are afraid that she might do something bad to you. So you are doing everything to avoid that classmate.  She is a threat that you are avoiding.  

The United States and Russia had a cold war for many years after the Second World War.  It was called a cold war because they have not actually gone into war against each other but their actions showed that they dislike and distrust each other.

Joining European Union and NATO means Ukraine being friends with the United States

Russia does not approve of this friendship because …

  1. Ukraine used to be part of Russia ( Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ) and
  2. Being an old enemy of USA, Russia thinks that this friendship may cause something bad to their country. That is a threat that Russia is avoiding.

Fourth Question, Is Russia a bad country?

Our answer: There is no such thing as a bad country. Just because their government started the war against Ukraine we can say that everyone in that country agrees with the war. In fact there are people living there who are questioning the reason or the purpose of the on-going invasion.

Fifth Question, Is the Russian President a bad Person?

Our answer:  We think that it is not only the Russian President who decided to start the war. It is a decision of their administration or the group of people who lead Russia. At of this point, as your parents, we don’t want to judge the Russian President or anyone involved in the war. Let us just pray that God touches their hearts and minds and lead them to do what is right and good.

Sixth Question, Why do they say that China may support Russia and invade Hongkong or Taiwan ?

Our Answer: They say this because China is an ally or a good friend of Russia for a long time. They have the same kind of government, they are both communists. Just like you and your friends, they also have a promise to support each other but let us pray that this does not happen and that the war ends very soon.

Seventh Question, What does pressuring Russia means?

Our Answer: The United Nations (UN) is an organization of countries who help each other in times of need. Russia and Ukraine are both members of that organizations but UN does not support Russian invasion of Ukraine so they put a sanction against Russia to pressure it to stop the hostility.

Think of it this way, one of your playmates bullied another one of your playmates and the rest of you did not like it. So you discussed among yourselves and you agreed not to play with that bully (that is the sanction) unless she says sorry and promise not to do it again.  This is to make the bully feel sad and be sorry of what she did (This is the pressure).

Eight Question, Will our country go to war too?

Our Answer. It is most unlikely but again let us pray that this does not happen.  As of now there is nothing to be afraid of.  

Parenting is also being updated with the current events not only to prepare for the possible effects to your children but also for the possible interrogations from these little ones.

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6 thoughts on “How To Explain Russian and Ukrainian War To Your Child?”

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