How To Have a Conversation With Your Child About Coronavirus
Your kids are hearing about Coronavirus. As a parent, you want to make sure you’re the filter between them and the COVID-19 news they come across. You are a source of calm and hope for them. As we grow into social distancing, working and learning from home, it’s important to have power based conversations as opposed to fear-based conversations.
Work With What They Already Know
A simple way of opening up the conversation is through drawing, stories, playing board games or building blocks. It eases the child into the conversation and enables a parent to gauge how much information the child knows.
Here are some general rules and principles to consider when speaking to a child about Coronavirus:
Stay Calm and Be Reassuring.
Children interpret our cues and might react to the pandemic based on these cues.
Consider Their Age and Their Screen Consumption.
If they’re too young, you don’t want to burden them with too much information that can trigger anxiety. However, you want to encourage hygiene, handwashing and maintain an environment that communicates they have the situation under control, and not the other way round.
Be Available to Talk.
Children are very inquisitive and are keen to notice changes. They might be asking you why you’re not going to work, why they’re not going to school, playdates, and so on. Talk to them, answer their questions and go through their feelings together.
Encourage Hygiene and Handwashing Practices
Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, and before meals. You can do this together to promote the practice. In case you don’t have soap and water, hand-sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content should come in handy.
Explain Coronavirus in A Child’s Language
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a new virus that has made many people sick and doctors are still learning about the virus and examining it.
What Can I Do to Not Fall Sick from The Virus?
Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs away from your body.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue and throw the tissue into the trash. Wash your hands for a time period of two “happy birthday” songs, using soap and water. Lather your hands with soap, scrub them together and rinse.
Keep Talking About Coronavirus
As parents, we want to keep the communication lines open. Moreover, we want to be aware of how they’re getting news and information about Coronavirus while being the voice of reason and certainty.
How are you talking about Coronavirus to your kids and what strategies have worked for you?