Children may find it challenging to cope with separation when a parent goes to defend their homeland. The All-Ukrainian Mental Health Program ‘How Are You?’, initiated by First Lady Olena Zelenska, guides how to support children during this difficult time.
- Explain to the child why the parent cannot be with them at the moment. Emphasize that they are loved and that the parent looks forward to seeing them.
- Be honest with your child. Explain what is happening in the country, but avoid giving too many difficult details.
- Frequently hug your child and engage in conversations about their emotions. It is crucial that they feel comfortable expressing and communicating their feelings.
- Redirect the child’s emotional tension into action. Offer to do something for the parent, such as preparing a meal or creating a handmade craft.
- Establish and maintain telephone or video communication between the parent and child. Agree on specific days and times for these communications.
- Look through family photos with your child. Recall some funny and pleasant family stories while doing so.
- Encourage your child to dream. Together, plan what you will do when your father or mother comes home.