In 2005, the UN Security Council  identified and condemned six grave violations against children in times of war․ These included the killing and maiming of children; recruitment or use of children in armed forces and armed groups; attacks on schools or hospitals; rape or other grave sexual violence; abduction of children; and denial of humanitarian access for children.

Shushan Chakhmakhcyan, a school psychologist in Abovyan city, says when adults watch television or talk to each other about war they might think that children are not paying attention and won’t understand. But Chakhmakhcyan says they do listen and process that information, and if parents do not explain to them what is happening in accessible language, it might have a bigger impact. Without this kind of explanation children may feel fear, anxiety, and insecurity, and lose their trust towards the world.

Chakhmakhcyan says that childrens’ ideas about war can be very different depending on which age group they belong to. It is important for parents to match their explanation to the childs’ level. For example, for children two to three years of age parents can convey the information in a game-type format, using fairy tale characters. School-age children that play computer games or watch films that have war scenes already have an idea of what war looks like,  and are able to comprehend information more directly.

“You cannot live with a child in the same country where hostilities are taking place, and completely insure them against the possibility of war. And because of  this, first of all, parents should be ready to give their child information about the war in any form,” Chakhmakhcyan says.