Children often experience trauma during war. Adults, however, are not always able to recognize children’s stress. At the same time, it is important to recognize the problem in advance.
As part of the All-Ukrainian Mental Health Program “How Are You?” initiated by Olena Zelenska, recommendations were developed to help adults recognize stress symptoms in children.
The main signs that a child is stressed include:
– Changes in peer behavior: The child used to play with others on the playground, but now sits alone in a corner.
– Lack of interest in the usual pleasures. For example, cartoons that used to delight children are ignored.
– Sleep problems, unexplained anxiety, crying for no particular reason.
What to do when this happens?
– Keep a diary of your child’s well-being (for at least two weeks). Describe how your child’s day went and what your plans are for tomorrow.
– Answer questions with your child: “What did you do today?”, “How did you feel?
– Teach your child a simple breathing exercise to calm down. Simply put your hand on your stomach and take 20 slow breaths in and out.