Ukraine: What Do We Tell Our Kids? – Shrinking It Down

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Posted in: Hot Topics, Multimedia, Podcast

Topics: Anxiety, Culture + Society

The crisis in Ukraine feels to many like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Between the COVID pandemic, systemic racism, the climate crisis, and now the war in Ukraine, the world may feel increasingly unsafe. Very young children, though, actually respond more to their adults’ distress than to the tragic events themselves. That said, repeated media exposure of horrific events can sometimes lead to PTSD in kids who do not experience the tragedies themselves.

This week, Gene and Khadijah discuss the important work of protecting our young people from the very real conflict they are witnessing in the media, and hearing about at school and at home. Whether you have friends and family in Ukraine, know someone who does, or are simply a concerned global citizen, this week’s episode covers how to help kids of all ages manage the devastation, while taking care of yourself, too.

Tune in for this pressing episode. We hope that our conversation will help you to have yours.

Have more questions about how to handle your young people and military conflict? Write to us!

Media List
Follow along with the conversation.


Episode Produced by Bianca Dempsey

Edited by Sara Rattigan

Music by Gene Beresin


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Khadijah Booth Watkins

Khadijah Booth Watkins, Associate Director

Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH, is associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the Associate Director of the Child and...

To learn more about Khadijah, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team.

Gene Beresin

Gene Beresin, Executive Director

Gene Beresin, MD, MA is executive director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and a staff child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also...

To learn more about Gene, or to contact him directly, please see Our Team.