In this video, we will show you how to apply psychological first aid to kids between six and nine years old. This stage is characterized by a bigger cognitive maturity. This bigger maturity helps them understanding many things that a smaller kid, of 3 or 4 years old, can't understand. But it is important that we know that they still don't have an adult's maturity and so, in this stage they understand more things, but not everything. Kids are especially vulnerable to misunderstanding information, to fantasizing, to getting a piece of what someone told them and putting it together with another piece and building an image of what happened that doesn't fit reality. But at the same time, at this age kids are very receptive and they get the contradictions. If kids with two or three years old are relatively easy to calm down because with our attitude and our non-verbal language they will trust us more easily, when they grow older they will find out where we are contradicting ourselves, when we are telling them nothing happens but we move as if something really serious was happening. How is the death concept between six and nine years old? Well, most of the kids this age have already understood that death happens. And they have also understood they are irreversible, that the dead person or animal won't come back. So they can understand quite exactly that death affects everyone and it's a process from which we can't come back. They still aren't aware that they will already die someday. But they have the idea that the people around them will probably die. And this is the age where kids that have had contact with death begin to worry about, "Will you also die, mum?" "Dad, will you also die?" And this will give us an extra difficulty to the management of the critical incident we are living with our kids in our family. How does a critical incident, with or without a death, but with a high stress moment, to kids with 6-9 years old? Well, on one side it causes important behavior changes to them. In example, they might lose the autonomy they had already won, they might be unsettled and they might be extraordinarily irritable. If this happens we must understand they are the normal reactions to an event that isn't usual, that is extraordinary and that has both kids and adults scared and stressed. We might also probably see changes in the kids' usual communication patterns. Either because a communicative boy or girl suddenly fall into a silence that isn't usual in them and we see how they withdraw and don't want to talk. Or it might happen the contrary, because he can't stop thinking of what happened and he constantly wants to talk and have info on what happened. And although it is true that giving some information is important inside the critical accident management and it is a part of the application of psychological first aid, if they require too much information we will also have to correct it to try to give it the appropriate direction, which is some information but without an excess of information. It is very usual that after a critical incident a general fear appears. Fear of being alone, fear of going to places we know or unknown places and mostly fear of being away from the main carer, which are usually the parents, but which also could be other people. These last fears are related to what we just said: as he is aware that all living things die, the kid that has been in contact with death or with death risk, begins being aware that he can lose the people he love and so these fears increase. We must be aware of these fears but we must also be able to manage them so that they don't condition the kid's behavior, because if we give it too much importance somehow we are telling the kid his fear is proved. We can also see, as it happens with adults, reiterated thoughts on what happened, that is, a boy, a girl who keeps remembering what happened and even recreates it. A house destruction, a car crash or a loved one's death. Inside the first four to six weeks this kind of reactions are totally understandable, adaptive and help the kid processing what happened. If they extend too much, maybe we will need to ask or go to a professional. And finally, it is usual to see that kids in these ages have sleeping problems after a critical incident. Usually these problems are nightmares and difficulties to sleep. But in some isolated cases we can also detect hypersomnia, which is sleeping more than he did before. Which are the steps we must apply in psychological first aid of kids in this age range. Well, they are the same you have previously seen in videos. Contain, calm down, inform, normalize and comfort. We will now try to give you some examples and processes with which we can execute these tasks with kids with this age. Let's begin with how can we contain the kids' emotions after a critical incident. The important thing is trying to prevent the kids' emotions, fears and feelings to overflow. And how can we do this? Well, we will try to create a relaxed and quiet environment, we will gather and name all the kid's emotions. In example, I see you are afraid, I see you are frightened, I see you are sad, but we will always try to refer to a thought that might calm down this emotion. I see you are afraid, but be aware that you are safe here, mum and dad are protecting you, try to turn the intense emotions into comforting thoughts. The second step, as you might remember, is calming down the kid affected by a critical incident. How will we do this? Well, we will try to talk slowly, we will try to drive the conversation with the most tranquility we can, which won't probably be complete, but we will try to low down our activation tone and try to remind the kid this situation is similar to one he previously lived and in which he could get over his fears. In example, do you remember when you fell down and we went to the hospital and they sew you up, and you were really, really afraid and you cried a lot but then you calmed down because the doctor told you to calm down? Well, what is happening today is similar to that time and you will see how now you are really worried, but then you will be able to calm yourself down. The resource of previously lived situations helps kids, as well as adults, activating their own confrontation mechanisms, and this is highly positive. And something we will never do in this stage is telling the kid that if he calms down everything will be better. We won't because it probably won't be true. If a kid just lost his or her mother, the situation won't improve, no matter how much he calms down. So we will tell him we are there to help him calm down and to help him making things as good as we can. Once we've done these two steps, which are containing and calming down, we will begin informing. The order is important, we will never inform the kid if he isn't calmed down. In the informing step we must speak with words the kid can understand taking into account what we said before, that in this age often kids understand almost everything but we must make sure they don't misunderstand some information, because their cognitive level still isn't the one of an adult, with these simple words we must explain what happened. The shorter, easier and simpler the explanation is, the safer the kid will feel. In example, well, you know that this morning dad drove to work, by car, well, in the middle of the morning, the police called us and told us dad has had an accident. Next the kid will obviously ask if his father is OK or not and we will have to ask that he isn't, that he is in the hospital and the doctors say he is seriously injured or whichever information we must give. The more talk around, the more circumvents we make on an information, the harder and menacing it becomes to a kid. So it is good that we try to be simple, as we, as adults, are afraid of what we must tell the kid, if news are bad it won't be easy doing it. But putting too many complicated words won't help the kid, as we are informing him. The next step is normalizing, which means authorizing the kid to externalize what he is feeling in that moment. Rage, fear, sadness, incredulity, and we will normalize all his emotions, as in earlier ages, a very important part in our intervention here applying psychological first aid is giving names to the feelings the kid has. Once we've given the names, we can tell him that what's happening is totally logic, given the incident he's living and that probably after some hours and days these emotions will become other things. It is very important that you don't tell the kid they will improve, because it is highly possible that if what happened is really serious the emotions won't improve, they will transform. In this sense I remark that it is specially important being able to tell the kid we will be there to help and that we will surely be able to promise that in a few days he won't be as scared as now, but he will still be sad. And in the last step what we must do is comforting the kid, which probably is living or is realizing he is living a loss and this loss is beginning to get to his rational perception. This is the loss of safety, either the loss of an object or of a person. This process of realizing about what has happened is a gradual process, and our comfort must be present for a long time. But it is important to always finish the story with the promise we will be there to help him feeling as good as we can. Again, I won't stop remarking it, don't tell him he will feel OK. Tell him you will be there to make him feel as good as you can. We will finish the video with two advices, like the previous two. The first is that each kid makes his own process, with his own characteristics and each kid needs its own time. And each situation and family is different. So there are many possible reactions, many possible ways to react and most of them, although they might be hard, will be absolutely adaptive. We just need that if you see any reaction in your son, daughter or any of the kids you are working with and to which you have applied psychological first aid doesn't correspond to the pattern of what we have described, ask for help. He won't probably need a therapy, he probably just needs an idea of how to confront better, how to explain better, how to normalize any input, and contribution that will allow both the adult and the kid manage the situation better. But don't have doubts. If you apply psychological first aid encourage people to ask for professional orientation. If you are a relative and you are applying it to someone in your own family, I recommend you the same. If you have doubts, ask, because the calmer and quieter you are, the more you will help the kids of this age.