Educational and psychological consultant Khalil Zayoud believes that children’s reading of what they see through news bulletins and communication sites is neither easy nor normal and does not pass unnoticed by their eyes.
Amman- “Breaking news.. Scenes and videos of the start of the war being broadcast on satellite channels, missiles and warplanes, expressions of fear on the faces of mothers, fathers and children..” It is like a “dark” movie about Russia’s war on Ukraine that passes in full view of children these days, so how do they read it? What are their reactions to that?
What the child sees or reads about Russia’s war on Ukraine through news bulletins or by browsing social networking sites arouses his interest, and this interest varies according to his age and upbringing.
War raises children’s questions
The child may turn to his parents to inquire about the matter, or he may search for information on his own using technological devices, and then he begins to analyze, criticize, or discuss in sessions punctuated by war discussions, whether with his family or with his friends at school.
Among these children is Hassan Ayman (14 years), who has been keeping track of the latest developments in the war since its declaration, as he surprised his mother with the amount of information he searched for on the websites.
A lengthy dialogue took place between Hassan and his mother, during which questions revolved in his mind, including: How will parents defend their children? Will we be affected by this war? What does third world war mean?
Umm Hassan says, “I tried to dispel my child’s fears when I felt anxious and insecure about what he saw and heard. We talked about the first and second world wars. I also showed him that some of what he broadcasts or promoted is not always the whole truth.”
The child, Samar Khaled (9 years), was afraid of the word war, which she read on the TV screen, and asked her parents: “How will the children sleep? Will all the children die? Why this war? Who will win it? ..”, all of which are innocent questions that convey the child’s anxiety Because of what he sees.
When does the child start the analysis?
Pediatric psychologist Asmaa Toukan says that the child begins to analyze what he sees or hears at the age of 5, and usually one of the things that attract children’s attention in the media is scenes of violence, destruction, screaming and crying (wars), which it is preferable not to allow them to watch because of their From a negative impact on the psychological side of them.
Toukan added that the child may become anxious and terrified by some of the scenes he sees, and they may remain stuck in his imagination, which makes him lose a sense of safety, which is one of his basic needs, which may lead to sleep disturbances, such as: nightmares, intermittent sleep, and disturbances in sleep. Eating and temperament, bedwetting and nail biting, may stimulate the child to aggressive behavior, making him less sympathetic to the suffering of others because he is accustomed to seeing these scenes.
Simplified illustration of the child
Dr. Toukan adds that the scenes of real violence that occur in the world and seen by children may turn into ordinary things as they are in cartoon films or electronic games, so they get used to and accept them instead of rejecting and condemning them, as childhood is an important stage for acquiring behavioral and social habits, because of its A great influence on the formation of the future personality of the child.
The expert recommends that parents always take into account what they say in front of their children, observe what they are watching, explain to them in a manner appropriate to their ages, answer all their inquiries and not ignore them. The meaning of war can be clarified to children through puppets or storytelling, and avoid explaining all the facts and bad details to them.
Parents should also note the presence of any sudden psychological or behavioral changes in the child and not ignore or underestimate them if they persist for more than two weeks, and present them to the psychiatrist or psychotherapist, according to Toukan.
How does a child read the newscast?
In turn, the educational and psychological consultant Khalil Zayoud believes that children’s reading of what they see through news bulletins and communication sites is neither easy nor normal and does not pass unnoticed by their eyes. It will lead the child to ask his questions, either between himself or his family, or according to his age or according to the psychological space that exists between the child and his family in general.
What is the role of parents?
Zayoud explains that the role of the parents in this scene is honesty, because the painful or disturbing event on the screen or on the communication sites may be able to give him an unreal or unrealistic answer, but with the days the child will understand the incident, but he will not forget that there is a father, mother or A teacher gave him a false answer.
And he continues, “and accordingly, we tell him according to his level of thought and age, in war he is unjust and oppressed, so the child must be a sincere recipient of these scenes.”
He adds that the child’s brain or the human brain in general moves in reality through a set of main beliefs and automatic thoughts. Clarity.
“If we want to create a generation that is reconciled with itself and is able to deal with these frightening changes across the world, we must clearly and frankly explain the real information using non-harmful euphemisms,” Zayod says.
The child is affected by the cold reaction of the parents
For her part, the family educational consultant, Dr. Amal Borshak, comments by saying, “Every child is affected by what he sees and listens to according to his age and according to the reactions of his family that affect those around him, so there is no harm in investigating the source of his knowledge and what affected him, and trying to clarify that the war may be A source of assistance and the realization of human rights, and it may be a reason to preserve the homeland.
Dr. Borschke advises parents, saying: Listen carefully to your child, and try to inculcate the best human values in him, promote tolerance and reflect on what he witnessed, to know the country’s location on the map and to identify the wealth in it, to change the direction of speech to know the causes of international ambitions.
Some children – especially those with sensitivity – may be affected by the appearance of behaviors that indicate violence and congestion or a severe change in their moods, which instills fear in them, and here remind them of the safety around it.
She explains, “Parents can consider it an opportunity to correct the child’s thoughts in proportion to his age, highlight the humanitarian situations that accompany the war, as well as his dialogue and good listening to him, listening as much as possible to what he says to empty his energies, as well as identifying the source of his information.”