How we can talk to children about the crisis in Ukraine and ways you can support

How the world has changed in a week. My youngest woke up today and told me of his dream, that Russia came to our country with guns. He seemed ok and quite matter of fact as he ate his breakfast. I was shocked. He went to school as normal and when I went to his room I saw he’d wet the bed (duvet, pillow, teddies type of thing). He hasn’t done this for over two years. The impact on us all is deep. 
 
If like us you are feeling distressed about the situation in Ukraine here are some useful resources to support you talk with your children about what is going on, and practical ways you can support.
 
An article published yesterday by The Independent includes advice from clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, including the importance of keeping calm – easier said than done, and how storytelling can help children relate better to what is happening. Now, more than ever, play is an important tool to support your child, says Dr Tikare. “Playing and having fun with your children more at this time can be helpful as it can provide a sense of distraction and help them feel more relaxed,” he says. Read the full article here.
 
Save the Children share five excellent tips from a psychologist and child counsellor about how to talk about war with children, they include ‘giving children a practical way to help’. Whether it be fundraising, donating items to refugees or writing letters to local decision makers. Read the full article here.
 
If you would like to help this article from the BBC summarises many ways you can donate or get involved. Sean Ryan, media director of Save the Children, said: “The best way to help is to make a cash donation.” He said collecting supplies like blankets or infant formula means transporting heavy goods hundreds of miles, whereas cash can reach people quickly to buy what is needed.
 
Among the organisations collecting funds for Ukraine are:
 
The British Red Cross, which has launched an appeal to help the Ukrainian Red Cross to provide food, medicine, clothing and shelter, as well as first aid training in bomb shelters and, in the last few days, 15,000 litres of drinking water to villages in eastern Ukraine
 
The UNHCR refugee agency, which is funding emergency shelters, repairs for homes damaged by shelling, emergency cash assistance, psychological support and warm clothing
 
Unicef, the UN’s children’s charity, which is helping to ensure families have clean water and food and that child health and protection services continue
 
Save the Children, which is providing cash assistance, food and other support to refugees crossing into Romanian and Lithuania, as well as in Ukraine itself. 
We hope you and your family keep safe and that these resources may be helpful at this time.