war in iraq


Parents need to prepare their children for War, says psychologist

March 10, 2003

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE) As the countdown to war continues, a psychologist who treated children who experienced psychological difficulties in the 1991 Gulf War says, "It will not only be those children with loved ones in the Persian Gulf who will experience war anxieties but kids at home in front of the T.V."

Psychologist, Robert R. Butterworth, Ph.D., has a strategy to help parents prepare their children for War. "Parents need to get in the practice of conducting a 'Child's war briefing' -- a clear, understandable explanation of the war news that occurs daily and creating a supportive environment in which children can discuss their feelings and even debate with parents their opinions concerning the conflict -- honesty regarding parental emotions while talking about feelings in a supportive environment. The crucial point for parents is not blocking out the war news to children but explaining war facts truthfully to children according to their age and emotional development. Parents may be hesitant to let their children watch news reports of the war, afraid that their kids could be traumatized. But protecting children from the reality of the Gulf situation can do more harm than good."

The psychologist uses maps, toy tanks, soldiers and aircraft in a simulated 'Desert City' to explain the Iraq crisis to children. He also has a Saddam Hussein puppet that children who are afraid, can punch and kick. "Venting their fear into anger by punching the puppet, they change their helplessness into anger, an emotion that is easier for a child to master and control," Butterworth says.

Dr. Butterworth's Parental Tips for Children:

Contact: International Trauma Associates Robert R. Butterworth, Ph.D.,213/487-7339 (24 hours) Fax: 213/477-2340 robert@drbutterworth.net

Source: International Trauma Associates


war in iraq