“Mom, are these children from the forest still alive?” What to answer and how
Photo: Adam Stepien / Agencja Gazeta
Children on the Polish-Belarusian border freeze, cry and fail to eat. Polish children see them in traditional and social media. And they ask adults questions. What to say and how experts from the Center for Civic Education suggest.
“Yesterday I am picking up two third-graders from school. In the cloakroom, about 20 children are ‘playing’ in escaping from Kabul and looking for shelter at the border. They are discussing when the airport will be shelled and where exactly this Kabul is” – writes Katarzyna, mother third-graders from Krakow. “We played in four armored cars,” says Teresa, a teacher in Wałbrzych.
Should we react to such “fun” in Kabul and taking refuge at the border? What to tell the children?
“Older students really want to talk. But we don’t know much ourselves, so it’s a bit of a stalemate,” writes Krzysztof, a teacher from Warsaw.
We don’t know what to say or how?
“Speak normally. Facts, data, stories, fears, fears, fears, taming” – advises Joanna, a teacher from Legionowo. And she adds: “I have a repeat from 2015/2016”.
This “repetition” was caused, among others, by photos of children from Michałów. Several-year-olds with sad eyes, wrapped in winter clothes, hugging mascots. There are plenty of them on social media. They were shown by politicians during the parliamentary debate on the extension of the state of emergency on the border. We watched them on news websites. But not only these. Not only eight-year-old Aryas, six-year-old Arin, four-year-old Alas or two-year-old Almand. The kids saw them too. And they ask:
Are these forest children still alive?
They also ask questions that take to the streets with their parents. The teenagers themselves join the protests under the common slogan “extremely inhuman STATE”. Children of different ages were among the demonstrators in the streets. Last Friday, only families with children appeared in front of the Border Guard headquarters in Warsaw. With empty carts.
When asked how to talk to children about the refugee crisis, specialists from the Center for Civic Education have been answering for a long time: – First of all, talk.
Why talk about it?
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