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How to talk to kids about hard things

As the world changes all around us children are becoming more and more aware of real life issues.

They may hear adults talking about them, learn things at school or online, and have lots of questions.

As parents and caregivers we want to make sure we’re responding well to our children’s interest in world events, and the lives of other kids.

But sometimes it's hard to know where to start.

We've pulled together resources from child psychologists, teaching experts, and other mums, dads and caregivers to provide a hub of helpful tips and content to get these chats going, so you can feel confident raising little global citizens of the future.

Bringing up kids in 2023

Learn about our vital work to support caregivers in talking to children about hard things & having difficult conversations with kids, with expert advice.

So how can I talk to my kids about difficult subjects?

How to talk to children about Refugees?

This year there have been stories of kids who have become separated from their families, or have lost everything. Thinking about refugees and what that means for a child can be worrying. 

1. Do some research 

2. Listen to them 

3. Make them feel safe and protected

4. Talk about values

5. Read about them together in our Wonderbooks

Explore talking to children about refugees

We worked with Aardman Animation to create a short animated film that helps explain the experiences of refugees. Inspired by the real-life stories of children we’ve worked with from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria, 'Home' tells the story of a small orange circle who feels far from home in a world where everything is purple and triangular. 

How to talk to children about Gender Equality?

We often hear phrases such as “Boys will be boys''. As young children develop an awareness of gender characteristics by age two, these comments can be more formative than we think.

1. Role modeling

2. Mix it up 

3. Encouraging diversity

4. Less is more

Explore encouraging children to view all genders as equal

Being a global citizen?

Unconscious bias can be unlearned by looking at the assumptions we make about ‘types’ of people, and what they represent. But everyone is deserving of equal kindness and respect.

Help your child to understand that we are all equal.

Teaching kids about the world

Child-friendly ways to broach scary stories on the news, and talking through different topics, such as questions about refugees, child marriage and the importance of girls education.

Helping kids by numbers

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to broach a subject with your child, or perhaps you worry about pitching information correctly for age or temperament. These tips written by experts will help.

Stories of hope

It can be so easy to feel everything is terrible - but where there are kids there is always hope! Learning how children are shaping the future can help when things feel overwhelming.

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