One week ago, on February 24, 2022, Russia’s President Putin declared war on Ukraine and began what was previously unthinkable: a full invasion and attempted takeover of a democratic European neighbor. In an article that day (which provides important context for this one), I noted this was the beginning of a great season of uncertainty and we need to be fervently praying for wisdom for our leaders and ourselves about how to respond well.
We also need wisdom about how to guide our kids through this. I’m especially thinking about our teens and college-age young adults. A generation of young people has never before had to process such a massive amount of real-time information and media input about a conflict of this potential magnitude. If it is difficult for us to process this, how must our kids feel? Especially since our young adults (maybe even some older Gen-Z readers of this blog) are coming to grips with a reality that has been merely vague and hypothetical for generations: A military action that could, without God’s grace, spark a much larger conflict . . . in a time when they and their close friends and siblings are draft age.
As I said last week, I’m far from an expert on foreign policy—but I’ve done a lot of studying of teenagers and young adults for books like For Parents Only. And I continue to investigate how they feel. Including interviewing them on this topic.
So here are just a few crucial things that we need to consider in order to help them process this intense situation—actions which may also help us process it along the way. Further, if you, yourself, are a young adult or twentysomething reader of this blog, these may be ways you can help your friends.