The war forced many Ukrainians to change their place of residence. Moving against the background of danger to life is a huge stress for a child, which can cause negative consequences.

Happy family silhouette on the sunset

Forced migration can negatively affect the emotional state of children. For example, to provoke difficulties in adapting to the new reality of life. How to help a child cope with the problem?

Iryna Tychyna, a psychologist and candidate of psychological sciences, shared her advice in the Telegram channel “Psychological Support”.

A change of residence, especially if it is a different country, can cause different emotional and behavioral reactions in children:

  • unstable emotional state (from extremely positive emotions to extremely negative);
  • strengthening of emotional manifestations (when emotional reactions are very stormy);
  • behavioral disturbances (even in children who were usually obedient);
  • communication problems and disruption of relations with peers and adults (misunderstandings, conflicts).

How to help a child?

Psychological support of the child

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1. Try to maintain the child’s usual lifestyle

Even in conditions of forced migration, one must try to create a happy childhood despite all the troubles. Celebrate important events (birthdays, public holidays) if possible.

You can also create pleasant moments by organizing meetings with friends, new acquaintances or excursions to interesting places. This will balance the child’s emotional state, saturate it with positive impressions.

2. Do not postpone the child’s life for later

Holidays or any events should not be postponed for the post-war period, because life did not stop. If it is possible, restore the usual activities that the child was engaged in at home. This will give her peace of mind and inner balance, and will allow her to regain a sense of stability in life.

3. Continue your studies

This can be done offline at a local school, in the area where you are now, or online at a Ukrainian school. If there is an opportunity, you can continue those activities in which the child was included at home, engage in music, sports, attend art circles.

Mother and daughter photo

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4. Provide the child with an active lifestyle

Make sure that the child moves enough, spends more time in the fresh air. Walking or cycling, morning or evening runs, any sports individually or in a group are good.

5. Volunteer

The psychologist also advises involving children in volunteer assistance. This will add personal confidence, help to form patriotic feelings and feel like a real Ukrainian.

6. Talk to the child about the war

Tell the child the truth about the war – Russia attacked Ukraine and therefore you must temporarily move while the Ukrainian defenders do everything to free the country from the enemy. At the same time, provide information according to the age of your child, so as not to traumatize him with too harsh messages.

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