In this video we will explain the differential characteristics of the application of psychological first aid to kids between nine and twelve years old. This is a hard age, because between nine and twelve years old they aren't kids anymore, but they aren't teenagers either. And it's not only that their evolving characteristics are in the middle of two stages, it is also that the kids of these age are almost teens but sometimes they are still like a kid, depending on the moment. And this difficults a lot being able to properly focus on these kids' evolutive characteristics. However, we will try to transmit certain characteristics that usually work properly in this stage. How are these kids, which aren't either kids or teenagers? Well, their cognitive comprehension is almost as the adults', which means that as in the previous stage we had to be careful with misunderstandings or fantasies, now we can almost explain things as if we were talking with an adult. But instead, it's a stage full of continuous physical and personality changes. It isn't only that they're getting used to a new stage, their body is growing up, there are hormonal changes so that kids with these ages are characterized by a great instability. And this will condition their way of reacting in front of critical incidents, and in front of anything, as this is a difficult stage at school, in sports, with their friends. In this moment their group of friends the people with their age, the friends get a crucial role. In fact, in the next teen age stage, kids will leave behind the models they learned from their older relatives, and will try to focus exclusively in their friends' models. Here we are in the middle, there will be moments in which they will shelter in the safety adults can give, but there will also be moments in which they will oppose to anything we say and it will difficult a lot our communication with them, a characteristic of this stage in which everything changes, in which they don't know their role and, honestly, we don't know how to act properly. And in case we needed something else, they have a great difficulty to manage their emotions. They can go from uncontrolled crying, to uncontrolled laughter. And not only when something happened something really serious or after the death of a friend or relative, no. This can happen during the playground because someone told them the shirt they are wearing today is ugly. So it is easy to understand that in normal situations at this age more inter-familiar conflicts appear and the opposition stage that characterizes teen age is ready. If a critical incident happens in this stage from 9 to 12 years, it will be very hard knowing when we must talk to the kid which we still have in front of us and when we have to talk to the teenager that pretends to believe he is 20 years old and he knows everything. And this difficulty will remarkably modulate our performance and the psychological first aid application in this stage. As in the other videos, we will briefly check how is the death conception in this stage, because in many critical incident what has happened is the death of a loved one. Well, between nine and twelve years old, the conception of death is like the adults', which means kids at this age know that death affects everybody, that it is irreversible, it will affect the people they love the most, such as parents, siblings, grandparents, and this reality's awareness increases because they probably have had friends' experiences, partners which have lost a grandmother, or maybe a brother. And so, death's presence becomes clearer but, and here comes the great difference with the previous stages, at this age kids already know and understand they will also die someday. It is true that they think death will come for them when they are old and they luckily set off from the idea that a long life is waiting for them. But they begin being aware of death, and so, afraid of it. Which reactions can we expect in kids in this age range? As we have seen in all the previous stages, we will be able to see behavior changes, but in this case there won't probably be an autonomy loss, on the contrary, there will be an hyperactivity, some isolation and a lot of irritability. When we work with teenagers and so with kids with these ages, it is good to tell both them and the adults that bad mood and irritability is pre-teenager and teenager's way of crying. Because that's the truth, they aren't able to properly regulate their emotions and usually they sadness answer will look like anger, bad mood and it is important that both them and us know that it isn't that way, that it's their way of crying without tears. At this age communication is very hard, usually in kids between nine and twelve years old, because they are starting their oppose, but talking with them on a critical incident, on the consequences of what happened and what will happen in the future, how this incident affects their lives, creates discomfort, generates stress and as it is usual in this stage they will try to avoid confronting them and they will refugee in their friends group, in which they can escape from what's happening. The adult's task is being patient, going back once and again and keeping the communication channel open, even by avoiding to explain what we consider important to tell. In fact, from this age on and then in the teen ages it is always better that the teenager or pre-teenager begins the communication so that we can adapt our answer to their worries. They will listen to us better and this can also be applied to critical incidents. We have previously said irritability is a behavior change, I remark it especially because in this stage it usually goes with some impulsiveness. It's not only that they don't answer politely, that they might slam the door, it's also that their risk behaviors may increase, certain behaviors such as escaping home, and there can be a lot of discomfort shows through their behavior which are their way of asking for help, without being able to do it more calmly, more slowly and more expressively. When kids at this age confront a critical accident we usually find an impact on their school performance and probably in their socialization. As it increases irritability and all malaise feelings, as well as impulsiveness, school will probably detect these problems. This shouldn't scare us, we must understand it in the context of what is happening, but we will give it a determined time, the usual four to six weeks, to see that everything goes back to normality, if it doesn't happen we will ask for help as we will see at the end of this video. At this age usually changes in basic behaviors are also usual, especially in feeding and sleeping. If kids already register changes in sleeping and feeding when they are exposed to a critical incident's stress, at these ages changes are a lot more important. Our advice is not over-dimensioning them, giving them some time to go back to the state previous to the critical incident. And especially not turning sleeping and eating into another battle, because usually pre-teenagers themselves are able to regulate their behaviors after two or three weeks. Here we will also keep the steps we have seen in the previous stages: first contain, then calm down, Then inform, then normalize and finally comfort. The order is always the same in minors. But let's see how we must modify each of these steps' behaviors so that they are really effective for kids between 9 and 12 years old. Which is the best controlling way in these ages? OK. We will look for balance between the emotional and the rational part. We will look for some balance between protecting pre-teenagers and letting them isolate and be with their friends. And we will try to leave them some space so that they can evade and avoid confronting what just happened. In this stage being able to isolate, being able to stop thinking is especially important because given all the changes the pre-teen is experiencing, he needs to have these disconnection moments and it is very important and a part of containing getting some balance between managing what's happening and evading. How can we calm teenagers down? Well, basically as we would do with a smaller kid, with calm voice, slowly but probably at this age boys and girls, pre-teenagers will be the non-calmed ones and they will be uncontrollable, they will answer rudely, they will shout at us, they will leave, they will slam the door. Our calm way of acting also includes letting them be, which means that if we rocked a baby, we touched him a lot and we had him on our lap to calm him down, we will probably need a pre-teenager alone, let him go to his room, but going back many times to check if he needs something. To inform we can use almost the same words as with an adult, we give the information, exact, brief, easy, and wait for the many pre-teenagers' questions. But as their communication will be hard, in this stage it will be very important to talk about it many times. As we have already said, probably they won't want to know what we are telling them, so we will leave them alone for a while and then we'll go back. Do you remember what we said before about grandma? Well, it is important that we talk about it again because then we give them the explanation we find appropriate. Possibly from all the steps in psychological first aid application in this age, the most important one is normalizing, because teenagers feel like everything is changing, they don't understand themselves, they don't even recognize themselves and to top it all they must confront a critical incident which upsets them, everything will seem weird, everything will seem worrying and being able to give them some calming answers which include the many ways of reacting, because all of them are correct, there isn't just one way of doing it, a good one and a bad one, but everyone manages it as good as he can, and if there's a rule it is the one of supporting each other, because themselves, boys and girls with these ages, they know what helps them and what doesn't better than anyone, it will be a crucial part in our participation, probably the most important one. Again I remark the fact that we must tell pre-teenagers that being angry can be a way of expressing sadness. Because usually relatives with good intentions reprehend kids of this age, telling them "It's hard to believe that after what happened you are talking to your mother like this." And it isn't hard to believe, it's just that the pre-teenager is sad and this is his way of expressing it. Finally to comfort kids with these ages, we must make an effort as adults, we will have spontaneous loving behaviors and it is our duty as parents, but we must also accept the fact that probably the ones who can better comfort a pre-teenager with between 9 and 12 years, are the teenagers of his same age. Because they have values, points of view and ways of reacting much closer to theirs than ours as adults. In that moment they can feel adults' far, far away from theirs. And as what we feel important is that they feel comforted, we will prioritize this comfort through the friends' group. As always our advice is that if you see that the different reactions don't begin diminishing after 6 or 10 weeks, we strongly encourage you to ask for help, because as most of the reactions are adaptive, it is also good being able to calm down, to gather up some guidelines, even that the pre-teenager can talk to a professional that might help him framing what is happening to him and solving it the best way.