Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine does not seem to be over. Every day we follow images that arouse fear in us.
We need to know that scared people are easier to manage. They are also easier to deceive than those who recognize fear and face it.
At the same time, frightened people find it harder to take a critical stance and actively face problems.
Fear is a very important emotion that should not be denied, warns psychotherapist Alja Adam from the Slovenian Umbrella Association for Psychotherapy.
How do children cope with fear?
Children suffer the most when they are alone with their fears and anxieties, and when adults do not have the time, will, compassion to listen to them. The fear we isolate is growing and suffocating the creative energy.
The opposite is love, born in genuine dialogue, in a gentle embrace, a warm handshake.
Children need to be taught how to look at their fear with love, not to deny it, but to face it.
What can we do to alleviate children’s distress?
We must not hide what is happening in Ukraine from children. At the same time, we must not intimidate them, as the media often does.
It is important that adults, out of their own fear and trauma, do not push children aside and do not forget about them.
If we enable children to actively cooperate with us in difficult situations, they will develop a positive self-image and compassion, and strengthen their spiritual orientation.
What does active participation mean?
They can take part in charity events, for example, raise funds for Ukrainian children, come up with a project idea in support of refugees, write a letter with their thoughts or good wishes.
It is important that children are aware they belong to a wider whole, a community. That their thoughts, gestures, words are welcome and important as they open up a space of love and compassion.
Points To Consider
- Do you have any ideas to help Ukraine?
- What do refugees need?
- What are you afraid of?
The original version of this article was published on March 16th.