War is a test for all. Now children need special care and attention, and parents need advice on how to create the most comfortable conditions for them and how to talk to them about complex things.
On International Children’s Day, psychology Kateryna Goltzberg advised how to help them survive the hardships of war.
How has the psychological situation of children changed in the last three months? Is it easier for them to adapt to the realities of military life?
One thing needs to be understood, children now face not only the war and the relocation to another place, but also, unfortunately, with the fact that their parents, relatives and relatives die. This is a new stage of understanding of war, and it is very difficult for children, it is very unclear, but it has to deal with. Parents need to learn how to talk about it with children.
How to talk to children about the death of loved ones
It is important to tell the truth. Children feel what is happening, so when we try to hide the truth from them, they feel that they are lying. And this lie can spoil the relationship between children and parents. So the truth must be spoken. It is also important to avoid euphemisms when we talk about death. It is better to speak straight. When you say, “We will go to say goodbye to your father,” the child imagines that he will see his father, hold his hand, they will go – it causes pleasant feelings. When the child comes and sees that the father died, it becomes unclear why they were told so.
We can say that we are going to say goodbye, but we need to explain everything. It is necessary to tell the child that the father died and explain in detail what will happen on farewell. The child’s expectations cannot be deceived. It is important to speak honestly, but without horrible details. We must tell the child that her father or brother is a hero, we must say what is happening in the country. The child should understand cause and effect. We are raising a nation, and it is important not to lie to children and in that. It is not necessary to call the occupiers orcs, it should be explained that these are citizens of the Russian Federation who attacked our country.
As migrants to speak with their children whom they have not yet told the truth about the war
The truth can be started to speak anytime. It is already clear that the war will not end quickly, and it is worth explaining to children what is happening. Children think every day that the problems will go and they will go home. Children are disappointed with circumstances disappointed in parents who did not tell the truth. This can even lead to aggression towards parents. So you have to talk to your children. To admit that they may also be wrong and did not expect that all this would last for so long. It is necessary to offer the child help in establishing her life in a new place. Invite your child to equip your own place where they will feel comfortable and calm.
Children rely on the experience of parents and will be grateful for the things that parents do now. And it doesn’t matter what it was before. We can all confess our mistakes to our children. You can see the cartoon about the war with the children, but children trust the parents most and want to hear the truth from them. Cartoon is an auxiliary way that can help parents faster, tell you how to explain everything to your child, but you still have to speak for yourself.
The school year has ended, children have increased, or is it good in these circumstances?
The free time that appeared in children will not benefit their psychological stability. When the baby is busy, it requires less parents intervention in her life. Now that children have increased their free time, parents should be more involved in their lives. Help them fill their time. If there are any ways to occupy and entertain the child, you need to use such opportunities. It is worth visiting any circles and sections, if safe. Safety is the most important thing now.
How to adapt to children who return home to relatively safe areas of Ukraine
Children are very happy to return home. They are calmer at home. Children demonstrate at home more rest, reduction of panic and tension. But there is also a certain period of addiction. The child asks himself “why I haven’t been here for so long”, “who is guilty of this”, she has a certain anger at those who did not let her live her life that was beautiful. Many children grow up rapidly in this situation, and some are showing regression. But all our children have become more conscious and patriotic.