In recent years, Sueli has drawn the attention of children and parents to various contemporary topics, such as respect and citizenship issues (Photo Courtesy of the South American Division]

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Children's Magazine Helps Children Deal with Their Feelings

Throughout its history, Nosso Amiguinho has helped readers in their intellectual, physical, and socio-emotional development.

Brazil | Sueli Ferreira de Oliveira, editor, Nosso Amiguinho magazine

In general, dates highlighted on the calendar are used for the celebration. However, on March 21, World Children's Day, the focus is on reflection. There are no advertisements or commercial appeals urging parents to buy gifts for their children. There are no special programs announced at schools or family outings to commemorate the day.

This is a date created by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) to make adults think about the current situation of children and their relationship with the future of society.

Since July 1953, when Nosso Amiguinho magazine was launched, there has always been a clear concern in its editorial philosophy to present issues relevant to the intellectual, physical, and socio-emotional development of readers.

In recent years, with the pandemic, the need to address these issues with children has intensified, especially due to the increase in depression and anxiety among children, pre-teens, and adolescents. To face this, the magazine has counted on the contribution of clinical psychologist Thais Souza.

Every month, since January of this year, it has published a series about emotional difficulties, presenting an everyday situation, tips from Dr. Souza, and comments from Turma do Nosso Amiguinho. It is extremely important to teach children to deal with their feelings, especially in situations that are so complex and challenge their emotional and psychological balance.

“It's good to see that children are returning to face-to-face classes, to socialize with friends, with the relatives of those who were far away,” says Dr. Souza. “But we also see that most of them are having to deal with situations that resulted from this period when we were at the height of the pandemic.”

Attention to Children's Emotional Health

Several children have had major losses, and this has been very difficult for them. During the pandemic, children have heard many uncertainties. “Will we be infected? Will we die? Will we lose grandpa or grandma? When will this end? Will I never go back to school again?” According to the psychologist, all this uncertainty to which children have been exposed in the last two years has increased feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety.

Throughout life, in our ups and downs, we learn to deal with emotions, but even adults can have difficulties with one situation or another and need help to overcome more complicated moments. And what about the child, who is still at the beginning of understanding his or her own emotions?

In this post-pandemic moment, it is also possible to observe a greater number of children with more aggressive behavior, which leaves many parents apprehensive, wondering why their beloved and well-cared-for children act this way.

Dr. Souza clarifies that it is very important, instead of labeling children as aggressive, disobedient, or rebellious, to pay attention if this is not their way of expressing anguish. “Maybe she can't just act like the adult and say, 'Guys, I'm not feeling great today!' So she overflows with that emotion.”

A Magazine that Goes Beyond Fun

Finally, another concern is the significant number of children presenting a depressive condition, and according to the psychologist, we can easily relate this to social isolation. “Childhood is such an important time for a person to have friends, to develop socially, and today's children have clearly suffered in this aspect,” she says.

At the beginning of chapter 36 of Child Guidance, Ellen White wrote that the lessons learned in the first seven years of life are the most important for character formation. If we consider two years of a pandemic, children of that age spent more than 25% of their lives being deprived of properly learning to live in society.

It is to help these and other children that Nosso Amiguinho magazine has sought, through the series “A Minute of Conversation,” within the “Se Fosse Você” section, to recognize emotions and suggest proposals for dealing with emotional difficulties that can be identified in whomever is going through childhood today.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s news site