By Erin Jones

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Explaining what’s happening between the U.S. and Iran can be a difficult conversation for parents to have with their children.

Mental health experts have some recommendations on how to handle it.

First, validate any concerns or fears they might have and assure them they’ll be okay.

Then allow them to ask any questions they have. Keep your answers simple, especially the younger they are. Allow them to keep asking questions until they’re satisfied. Never brush off their concerns.

“I’ve been a psychologist long enough, 30 years, to know what’s happening to children,” Clinical Psychologist Sylvia Gearing said. “The trends are very frightening to me. I see a lot of kids being exposed to things that they have no way of understanding. The young brain is undeveloped and does not know how to interpret what they’re seeing and those anxious thoughts can become defining.”

Dr. Gearing points could parents are the mentors for their children’s mental health.

“I can’t emphasize that enough,” she said. “You are with that child 24/7 and you need to be very skilled at addressing your child’s worries. A lot of parents think the child is saying something that’s not that important… pay attention. Learn to validate what the child is feeling. We can’t talk a child out of fear, what we can do is to teach that child the skills to manage that fear and move beyond it.”

Erin Jones