We all have the best of intentions to do “better” by our kids; be that by spending more time with them, taking them to places or reading to them at night.

However, by the nature of this busy world, I often spend too much time racing about, bringing them to their various activities, instead of simply talking to them.

And I am sure I am not alone in this. It is often when something tragic happens, such as the war in Ukraine, that we become aware that our children may have questions about what is going on.

Having to speak to our children about complex situations or sad events is something that all parents will have to do at some point.

Back in January, Janine Kennedy spoke to social care specialist Jenny Fahy about how sex education is more than just “one big talk”.

Jenny Fahy is the founder of Life Connections, an e-learning platform for parents and pre-teens which teaches about sexuality, love, communication and relationships. \ Claire Nash

She said that young children who now have access to social media can be exposed to content which, without added education or context, can cause incorrect ideas to be formed.

I recently read a post from psychologist Catherine Hallissey about proactive steps that parents can take in relation to the concerns of their children

Although Jenny was specifically talking about consent and boundaries, the same theory can be applied to a number of situations that may be scary or confusing for children. She advises a proactive approach to such issues.

Catherine Hallissey is a renowned psychologist, guest lecturer, media contributor and corporate speaker who helps parents harness the power of relationship and connection to address parenting challenges, create more peace and harmony at home and help children become more confident and resilient.

I recently read a post from psychologist Catherine Hallissey about proactive steps that parents can take in relation to the concerns of their children. Her young daughter had told her that all the kids in her class were talking about the war in Ukraine. Catherine made the point that, unfortunately, many of them were getting their information from TikTok and much of it was graphic misinformation.

This made her realise how important it is to talk to our children about what’s going on in the world and she advised:

1 Limit their exposure to the news.

2 Be curious – ask them if they’ve heard anything about the war and where they heard it. This is so you can build on what they already know and you can correct any inaccurate information they may have heard.

3 Validate all feelings eg “It’s OK to feel worried and scared, I feel like that too, I’m here, you’re safe.”

4 Share simple, factual information in an age-appropriate way. Use a map or globe to build their understanding.

5 Talk about what they can do if they feel scared, eg come talk to you, move their body, breathe and play.

6 Help them focus on all the good in the world as people rally to help and also focus on what you can do together to help. For more information see www.catherinehallissey.com

This week Miriam addresses this same issue in response to a reader query: My child is very anxious about world events. Miriam advises to be aware of the conversations you have with others that children might overhear. I was driving with my two daughters last weekend and thought back to Jenny Fahy’s advice that the car is a great place for a conversation with children. The reason being that it isn’t as intense as you are not looking anyone in the eye. I asked them what they knew about the war and how they felt.

The response was that they talked about it in school and that it was very sad for the children who had to leave their homes.

We also talked about the helpers, as per Miriam’s advice, which also includes them because of their fundraising activities in school. And after that we went back to the animal game.