This World Refugee Day, our Greenwood children applied their G Knowledge skills as they began to explore the notion of belonging to communities and fostering their ability to act with compassion and kindness when an unfair situation presents itself.
Introducing the complexities of our world to youngsters can be challenging, especially when young children aren’t able to process and understand what they are seeing or hearing as we can as adults.
What we do know, however, is that young children feel and express their emotions in a BIG, BIG way. When they are angry, it’s intense and fiery and when they are happy it’s a level of joy and exhilaration that as adults we do not express as freely.
It is our role to help our little people cope with their big emotions and help them grasp such complex conversations. Helping them to understand and manage their own thoughts and feelings in a positive and healthy way is crucial to the development of great emotional intelligence and self-regulation skills. Children who are able to express their feelings tend to feel more confident when faced with challenges, and are less inclined to place feelings of frustration on those around them.
On this note, with the asylum seeker and refugee crisis comes news reports and information in the public domain that could pose a difficult subject to speak about with your child. The topic is very mature for such young minds, and living in the information age means that we as parents need to be able to answer questions around difficult subjects in a matter of minutes.
To help, we have compiled a list of tips that first appeared on UNICEF’s website, about how to help your child understand and process what is going on in the world around them.
- Ask open questions and listen
- Try to identify what your child is feeling
- Help your child find the words to express how they are feeling
- Don’t diminish their worries. Make sure you recognise their emotions and reassure them that what they are feeling is okay.
- Be honest
- Make sure you are explaining the truth in a child-friendly way that will leave them feeling their questions have been answered, and they are not left more confused than before.
- Watch their reactions and make sure you are sensitive to them if they are becoming distressed, make sure you reassure them that everything is okay and maybe leave the conversation for another day, however don’t leave the conversation open.
- Show and explain how people are helping
- Share how people in the community are helping and smiling in the face of the issue. This should help relieve their anxiety and encourage them to extend compassion to others in times of need.
- Close the conversation with care
- From the conversation, identify what else your child may need to talk about the issues covered and how you can support their understanding.
- Reassure them that they can have a conversation with you at any time about anything.
Before having a chat with your little one, this video from ABC’s Behind the News helps explain the current refugee crisis with child appropriate and easy to understand language, which can help give you tips on how to approach the subject with your child.
A United Nations supported initiative, World Refugee Day seeks to educate the general public of the plight and hardship faced by the most vulnerable people in the world, and the rights afforded to them by various UN conventions.
The marking of this day allows our community to reflect and refocus on building a more accepting, tolerant and loving society, where we give support to our fellow global citizens in their search for a happier, safer and more secure life. In Greenwood Centres this week we are celebrating the beauty of our cultural diversity with The Little Refugee by Anh Do.
We are committed to supporting refugees and their futures, and we stand with the UN to ensure that all refugees receive an education, have a safe place to live, and the opportunity to work.
The Bread and Butter Project work to provide training and employment opportunities for the refugees and asylum seekers community. Our ongoing commitment with The Bread and Butter Project, encourages the development of new skills to allow refugees the opportunity to positively integrate and contribute to their society.
© Katherine Nelson. Nature Party Whale, Giclee Art Print 2016.
This week we’re absolutely loving the gorgeous work of artist, Katherine Nelson from Welcome Studio. Welcome Studio is a social enterprise which exists to support asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. All profits from their art goes directly towards assisting refugees to rebuild their lives in peace and safety. There’s nothing quite like a community feel-good initiative.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Martin Luther King
We stand together #WithRefugees