Recently I taught a YogaBears class to an international community in Spain and we spoke about the magic of our dreams. We then continued to talk about what our biggest dream was. There was a Ukrainian brother and sister in the class and although the girl chose not to share her dream, her brother revealed his biggest dream was peace in Ukraine!
Wow imagine that, imagine war in your home country, my heart just breaks thinking of it and leads me to question what is this war going to do to our children not just the ones losing their homes, but the ones who are watching but the ones who are seeing and hearing the stories the ones that are being raised amongst this collective chaos
Experts say kids in war zones are at increased risk of anxiety and depression. Experts stress the importance of stability and structure from adult or parental figures in the lives of these children.
Russia's military operation in Ukraine has already seen millions of children forced from their homes, with some fleeing across the border into neighbouring countries while others are seeking safety in underground shelters.
It breaks my heart that children in Ukraine are suffering the most psychological distress as a result of Russia’s military operation. But our digital age means that any child with access to a TV, radio, newspaper, computer or phone will be aware that there is conflict going on – I for one was nearly knocked off my feet when my 13 year old michael said to me mum “mum are we in world war 3?’
As a mum How do you even start to talk to your child about war?Ane Lemche, a psychologist and child counsellor with Save the Children, said: “What is happening in Ukraine can be frightening for both children and adults’ and it certainly is for me. I know that Ignoring or avoiding the topic could have led Mikey to feel fear, so instead I had an open and honest conversation to help him process what is happening.
I gave Mikey the space to tell me what he knew, and how he felt about it.As Mikey is 13 he had an informed view of what was happening.
However younger children may not have conversations like these are important! In case they have formed a completely different picture of the situation than you have.
As a parent I knew it was important to take the time to listen to what Mikey was thinking and what he had seen or heard. Which was thankfully true to the sorrowful situation.
If I was talking to a younger child I would not have gone into as much depth.With younger children it is important not to over-explain the situation as this can make children unnecessarily anxious. Younger children may be satisfied just by understanding that sometimes countries fight but peace will always win! And that is my prayer.
During my conversation with Mikey, I Reminded him that it is not his problem to solve and he should not feel guilty for his blessed situation. He should not feel guilty about playing football , or going to the port with his friends-doing the things that make him happy helps to raise the vibe of the collective!
The more happy people are, the less likely war is to happen, I am happy said no dictator or war lord ever!
Mikey and I thought of a practical way we can help! Unfortunately just one of the negative impacts of the war is a rise in oil prices. Europe is reliant on Russia for 40% of its natural gas supplies.
Save the Children has warned that these rising prices will add to the already escalating cost of living crisis in the UK.
Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children, said: “The prospect of energy price rising even more than has already been forecast is incredibly worrying for households on low incomes. Millions of parents will be wondering how they will be able to keep their families afloat in the months ahead.’
As well as donating to save the children with Mikey and Jas pocket money (Lennon is too young to understand) we spoke about how the war can help local children to our studio in Liverpool who may be affected by energy poverty………….so we decided to organise a family workshop at LYS with 50% going to Ukraine and 50% going to local families.