{VIDEO} What It’s Like to Parent in a War Zone

Worldwide, over 1.5 billion people experience armed conflict. Children, without a doubt, are the most innocent and vulnerable victims, but not just from the obvious physical dangers. The experiences of war leave children at a real high risk for the development of emotional and behavioral problems.

In this talk, humanitarian psychologist Aala El-Khani explores the mental health of children who have experienced armed conflict in Syria and asks: “How can we help these loving parents give their kids the warm, secure parenting they most need?” El-Khani works as a consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as well as a Research Associate at the University of Manchester at the Division of Psychology and Mental Health.

“When we begin to recognize the individual faces of the conflict, when we begin to notice those intricate emotions on their faces, we begin to see them as humans, too. We begin to see the needs of these families, and these are the real human needs. When these family needs are prioritized, interventions for children in humanitarian settings will prioritize and recognize the primary role of the family in supporting children.”