12 April 2024

How to talk to your children about hate speech

Home Parenting  | Food and nutrition Food and nutrition  | Early learning Early learning  | Nurturing care Nurturing care  | Health Health | Security and protection Security and protection  |  Short masterclasses for parents and caregivers Short masterclasses for parents and caregivers Hate speech has a long history, but the growth of online…, Hate speech facts, What is hate speech?, Hate speech can be described as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour that attacks or discriminates against a person or group’s identity, such as religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation. Hate speech can also include other “identity factors”, like language, economic…, How are children affected by hate speech?, Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to hate speech, both online and in person. When children hear or read hate speech aimed at them directly or a part of their identity – such as their race, colour or gender – it can make them feel like there is something different or wrong about them. This can impact their self-esteem and can…, Hate speech vs free speech, Freedom of expression is a human right and tackling hate speech protects this right. It’s possible to disagree with or criticize an individual or group without threatening their well-being and safety. Hate speech limits freedom of expression as those targeted by hateful language do not feel safe expressing themselves freely., What is trolling?, “Trolling” is when someone posts or comments online to provoke a reaction from others. Trolling aims to disrupt, get attention and cause distress. It becomes hate speech when the actions promote hatred and discrimination against a person or group’s identity, such as their gender, race or sexual orientation. People involved in trolling will often…, How to talk to your children about hate speech, Conversations about issues like hate, racism, sexism and xenophobia can be uncomfortable for many parents. But it is important to try to create a safe space for your child to be able to speak to you and share anything that is on their mind. Conversations will look different for every family, but remember: You know your child best. Use age-…, 1. Educating your child about hate speech, Explain to your child that everyone has a right to be safe in society and treated with dignity and respect. Hate speech is always wrong and it’s on all of us to reject it. Explore together what hate speech is, so your child can identify it, whether it happens to them or someone else. Here are some questions you can explore together: What do you…, 2. Hate speech online, The Internet and social media enable us to connect with friends and family, pursue interests and be part of communities. Sadly, the same digital tools and platforms can also enable hateful content to be created easily, often anonymously, and shared widely fast. Hate speech has the potential to spread online to a global audience and can resurface…, 3. Talk openly and frequently to your children, The more you talk to your children about topics like hate speech, racism and xenophobia, the more comfortable they will be to come to you if they experience it. Find opportunities to talk about these topics in your daily routine. For example, if something relevant comes up on TV, you could ask your child what they know about the topic and what…, 4. Stand against hate speech, Remember that you are the example that your child follows and be mindful of your own words and actions, including online. Take every opportunity to reject hate speech and stand up for every person's right to be treated with dignity and respect. Explain to your child that if we witness hate speech, we can show support to the person or people…, 5. Embrace diversity, Explain to your child that we aren’t all the same and that is a good thing. The world would be a very boring place if everyone was the same. Encouraging openness and curiosity can help children to notice differences and appreciate them. It fosters conversation, understanding and empathy with people who are different from them. > Read: Talking…, What should I do if my child experiences hate speech?, All children have the right to protection from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse. Any incidents of hate speech need to be taken very seriously. Depending on the situation, you may need to report it to your child’s school, to the platform it happened on or to the police.  , Listen and reassure, If your child has experienced hate speech, the first step is to give them time to explain what happened. Listen carefully and tell them that you are glad they came to you. Focus on making them feel heard and supported. Your child is more likely to open up to you if you stay calm about what you hear. Be clear that hate speech is wrong and that your…, Hate speech at your child’s school, If the hate speech was from a student at your child’s school, record the evidence if possible and report it to the school. Discuss with the school authorities how they will protect your child’s right to be safe, as well as what consequences there will be for the sender of the hate speech. Discipline should always be immediate, non-violent and…, Hate speech from someone outside your child’s school, If the hate speech is from someone outside your child’s school, document any evidence and consider reporting it to the police. Don’t hesitate to speak to the police if you have any concerns for your child’s safety.  , Hate speech online, Record the evidence and report it to the social media platform. Check what tools are available on the platform/s to block or restrict the sender. Here are reporting and safety resources for many popular platforms: Facebook Instagram Kik Snapchat TikTok Tumblr WeChat WhatsApp X (formerly Twitter) YouTube
28 November 2023

Cradling hope through skin-to-skin contact

Home Parenting  |  Food and nutrition Food and nutrition  |  Early learning Early learning  |  Nurturing care Nurturing care  |  Health Health  |  Security and protection Security and protection  |  Short masterclasses for parents and caregivers Short masterclasses for parents and caregivers   Premature births, which occur before completing 37…, Why is skin-to-skin contact so important? , "The importance of the Kangaroo Family Care Programme goes beyond a simple technical and medical methodology; it is a story of love, resilience and the power that human touch has to change lives and make a difference".  enfermera está ayudando a una madrea a cargar a su bebe recien nacido en el pecho, plan canguro The method involves holding the…, Emotion in every heartbeat , The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is divided into several sections, depending on the severity of the patients’ condition. "On average, we take care of no more than 130 babies a day, however, lately, we are treating over 140 patients," says Dr. Fadlallah.  The Panama Children's Hospital has implemented significant changes in its neonatal care unit as…, Company during the process , When Arantxa was born, her lungs were not fully developed, and she had low birth weight: "She had surgery at 20 days." "Now Arantxa is 33 weeks and one day old. It was a natural birth, and she weighed 3 pounds," says her mom, Karen Vernaza, with great pride.  Nurse Orellana was the one who introduced her, and the rest of the families, to the…, “If he can fight, I can too” , bebé recién nacido, en el pecho de su madre, en cuidados intensivos en plan canguro Jennyfer Simpson and her baby, Lian Jennyfer Simpson gave birth to Lian at 32 weeks of pregnancy: "Learning to use the wrap was simple, and for me, this experience has been beautiful. With the Kangaroo Family Care Programme, I have strengthened the bond with my…, Teamwork is key , In the ICU, it is increasingly common to find fathers who are fully involved and committed to the Kangaroo Family Care Programme. For the programme team, this has been essential to ensure that the responsibility does not only fall on mothers. "Dads love it, and most of them are very happy to do it".  One of these dads is 20-year-old Javier Barrios…, Love Stories, Happy Endings , bebé prematuro, apoyado en el pecho de su madre, plan canguro. Yoryelis Guruchaga with her baby, Carl Yoryelis Guruchaga, a dental student in Panama City and native of Bocas del Toro, broke her water at just 32 weeks of pregnancy. Then Carl was born: "He cried like any child, but he would get tired, breathing was difficult for him."  She believes…
19 October 2023

How to talk to your children about conflict and war

Home Parenting  |  Food and nutrition Food and nutrition  |  Early learning Early learning  |  Nurturing care Nurturing care  |  Health Health  |  Security and protection Security and protection  |  Short masterclasses for parents and caregivers Short masterclasses for parents and caregivers When conflict or war makes the headlines, it can cause…, 1. Find out what they know and how they feel, Choose a time and place when you can bring it up naturally and your child is more likely to feel comfortable talking freely, such as during a family meal. Try to avoid talking about the topic just before bedtime. A good starting point is to ask your child what they know and how they are feeling. Some children might know little about what is…, 2. Keep it calm and age-appropriate, Children have a right to know what’s going on in the world, but adults also have a responsibility to keep them safe from distress. You know your child best. Use age-appropriate language, watch their reactions, and be sensitive to their level of anxiety. It is normal if you feel sad or worried about what is happening as well. But keep in mind that…, 3. Spread compassion, not stigma, Conflict can often bring with it prejudice and discrimination, whether against a people or country. When talking to your children, avoid labels like “bad people” or “evil” and instead use it as an opportunity to encourage compassion, such as for the families forced to flee their homes. Even if a conflict is happening in a distant country, it can…, 4. Focus on the helpers, It’s important for children to know that people are helping each other with acts of courage and kindness. Find positive stories, such as the first responders assisting people, or young people calling for peace. The sense of doing something, no matter how small, can often bring great comfort. See if your child would like to participate in taking…, 5. Close conversations with care, As you end your conversation, it’s important to make sure that you are not leaving your child in a state of distress. Try to assess their level of anxiety by watching their body language, considering whether they’re using their usual tone of voice and watching their breathing. Remind them that you care and that you’re there to listen and support…, 6. Continue to check in, As news of the conflict continues, you should continue to check in with your child to see how they’re doing. How are they feeling? Do they have any new questions or things they would like to talk about with you? If your child seems worried or anxious about what’s happening, keep an eye out for any changes in how they behave or feel, such as…, 7. Limit the flood of news, Be mindful of how exposed your children are to the news while it's full of alarming headlines and upsetting images. Consider switching off the news around younger children. With older children, you could use it as an opportunity to discuss how much time they spend consuming news and what news sources they trust. Also consider how you talk about…, 8. Take care of yourself, You’ll be able to help your kids better if you’re coping, too. Children will pick up on your own response to the news, so it helps them to know that you are calm and in control. If you’re feeling anxious or upset, take time for yourself and reach out to other family, friends and trusted people. Be mindful of how you’re consuming news: Try…
06 June 2022

Managing the long-term effects of the pandemic on your child's mental health

Key Takeaways Children have missed out on normal developmental opportunities throughout the pandemic. Their social skills are out of practice, and parents may need to provide children with more coaching and explicit instruction than they have had to in the past. Feeling upset by the pandemic is a natural response for children to have.  Two key…, In what ways has the pandemic impacted children’s development?, The universal experience for children in the pandemic has been missing normal developmental opportunities. So much of what helps young people grow and learn comes from enjoying the company of a wide range of caring adults, spending time with a variety of peers and getting to engage in new and interesting experiences. Whatever else children and…, How have children’s social skills been affected by the pandemic?, In terms of social skills, kids are out of practice. Part of how they learn how to get along with others is by spending time with people, making friends, and also by being with people they wouldn't necessarily choose to be around. It's with practice that children and adults get better at doing all of those things. So we are definitely seeing signs…, How have you seen the pandemic impacting children’s mental health?, Without question, the pandemic has caused tremendous distress for children and their families. Children are very sad, very anxious or even very angry about all they've been through. What we're likely to see in the immediate term are children who are just a bit more emotionally fragile than they would be normally. We can help children with that by…, What can a parent do if they are concerned about their child’s reaction to difficult feelings?, I think the first thing that you always want to do is to validate that they are suffering: “Your feelings make sense. You're having the right feeling at the right time. This has been an incredibly difficult period historically, and you've lived through it.” The second step is to make the distinction between the feeling being the problem and the…, Are there any long-term mental health effects you anticipate seeing in children coming out of this pandemic? What can parents do to mitigate them?, I think the outcomes we want to try to prevent are children who become extremely cautious as a result of the pandemic. Their lives were hemmed in by the pandemic and I wouldn't want to see children continue to lead highly constrained lives when that is no longer necessary, because it will deprive them of all of the variety that will help them to…, How can parents find support if they are feeling anxious about letting their children spread their wings?, I think we need to acknowledge that parents missed developmental steps too. Under normal conditions, our children branch out into the world gradually. For parents, that gradual process is part of what makes it more comfortable for us to encourage our children to exercise their independence. One thing I think a lot of parents are struggling with…
20 May 2022

How play strengthens your child’s mental health

Play is how young children learn and make sense of the world around them. While they are having fun, they are working on critical parts of their development like building motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills. But the power of play extends beyond early learning: it also plays a key role in building your child’s mental health – and yours…, Play helps to strengthen the bond between you and your child, Sharing in joyful moments of fun and learning helps bring children and their caregivers closer together. As your little one's first playmate, you have the ability to provide opportunities for learning and connection right at home. When you play together, you get to see the world from your child’s perspective. By providing your child with love,…, Play helps reduce stress levels, Playing games, dancing and singing are great ways to relieve stress for both your child and you. When you’re enjoying fun moments and laughing together, your body releases endorphins that promote a feeling of well-being. Even short periods of play together can serve as a powerful reminder for adults of their ability to support their child, and…, Play helps children process difficult emotions, When children are dealing with complex emotional issues, it often shows up in their play. Giving children space to play allows them to work through feelings such as pain, fear or loss while being able to still act like a child. Play gives them a way to express things they are struggling with that they don’t yet have the words to fully explain. By…, Play helps to build confidence, Solving problems and coming up with creative solutions during a game or while working on a puzzle give children a sense of accomplishment and competence. When you take time to play with your child, your little one is learning that they are valued and fun to be around. It is important that you give your full attention during playtime and invest in…