Children vulnerable during political conflicts

Children vulnerable during political conflicts

THAILAND - Parents with young children have been advised to provide them with guidance and support on how to handle stress and potential disagreements, which might arise from the political conflict, a senior government psychiatrist said Monday.

Political enthusiasts should also avoid taking infants to rally sites, because they can easily pick up viruses or become sick due to changing temperatures, noise, or other unforeseen circumstances, Department of Mental Health director-general Jedsada Chockdamrongsuk said.

Parents should also be aware of their own state of health and try to avoid stress, which can lead to lack of sleep, moodiness, aggressiveness, despair, loss of concentration and other woes.

Jedsada also said parents should take note of their children's possible interest in the political conflict and accept that they might have a different perception of the situation.

He said it was also a good time for parents to teach children about democratic values. Certain aspects of the conflict could also be used to tutor children on how to evaluate different opinions and perceptions.

In the case of younger children, the choice of words and explanations needed to be balanced with their level of understanding.

The department's call centre at 1323 is available around the clock.

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