It’s all the rage: government and international governmental bodies using blogs to get out their message. Why, the US military has been using blogs for years to confuse terrorist search engines like Yahoo! and DogPile. Later on, other government agencies, such as the FCC limbered up their lifeless fingers and stiffly attempted to write something akin to teeny-bopper speak, only to realize that people liked them fine when they were allowed to blindly hate them.
Alas, it seems not everyone got the message. UNICEF was been left out in the cold about blogs. The first half of the decade went by, and the benevolent UN pet project seemed content to just sit this meme out. This changed today, however, when I looked in my comments queue and discovered a comment waiting to be moderated. I guess UNICEF is getting into the blogging scene after all, even if it is a few years too late. Still, I don’t think someone over there grasps the entire “blogging” concept. After all, you have to get your own blog to blog in; you don’t blog by just dropping off random comments in other people’s blogs.
Anyway, just to be nice to this set of dorks, I’ll go ahead and repost their message here. It is, after all, well written, and serves as a sort of “public service announcement” from Gnorb.NET (not that I need to have one, but still). So, without further ado, here it is: UNICEF’s blog spam.
Whether tragic events touch your family personally or are brought into your home via newspapers and television, you can help children cope with the anxiety that violence, death, and disasters can cause.
Listening and talking to children about their concerns can reassure them that they will be safe. Start by encouraging them to discuss how they have been affected by what is happening around them. Even young children may have specific questions about tragedies. Children react to stress at their own developmental level.
The Caring for Every Childâ€™s Mental Health Campaign offers these pointers for parents and other caregivers:
- Encourage children to ask questions. Listen to what they say. Provide comfort and assurance that address their specific fears. Itâ€™s okay to admit you canâ€™t answer all of their questions.
- Talk on their level. Communicate with your children in a way they can understand. Donâ€™t get too technical or complicated.
- Find out what frightens them. Encourage your children to talk about fears they may have. They may worry that someone will harm them at school or that someone will try to hurt you.
- Focus on the positive. Reinforce the fact that most people are kind and caring. Remind your child of the heroic actions taken by ordinary people to help victims of tragedy.
- Pay attention. Your childrenâ€™s play and drawings may give you a glimpse into their questions or concerns. Ask them to tell you what is going on in the game or the picture. Itâ€™s an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions, answer questions, and give reassurance.
- Develop a plan. Establish a family emergency plan for the future, such as a meeting place where everyone should gather if something unexpected happens in your family or neighborhood. It can help you and your children feel safer.
If you are concerned about your childâ€™s reaction to stress or trauma, call your physician or a community mental health center.
Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
(By the way, I checked UNICEF and couldn’t find a thing on this campaign on their site. I did find it, however, at SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Infomation Services website. Still, I’ll keep it as a UNICEF thing because (a) that’s what it said on the message posted, and (b) UNICEF’s in France, so it’s funny. See, just saying “France” made you think about smiling, a lot more than “SAMHSA” did, right?)