Tips: Talking to Children about Coronavirus
The battle against the novel Coronavirus began towards the end of the last year, slowly spreading across all countries in the world till date. With over five million reported cases, it is clear than ever that we are still on a long journey to overcome this global pandemic. With every person talking about COVID-19 and the shift to online homeschooling, children tend to ask a lot of questions about the virus. Many families may have family members quarantined due to potential exposure. In light of this, we present a few tips to keep in mind while talking to your children about the virus.
Assess the Depth of Your Kid’s Knowledge About the Virus
Before addressing your children about the virus, you may want to find out how much your children actually know. For children below six, who may not be aware, child psychologists suggest it is better to not bring it up as it may lead to stress and anxiety at a very young age. For children who have heard it from school or the TV, be sure to take full stock of the information they know before divulging anything.
This is a scary time for all, irrespective of age. Keeping this in mind, don’t offer any information that is false just to make them feel better. Talk to them about the symptoms of the virus, how it spread, and what precautions one can take to stay safe. Most of all, provide them with age-appropriate information. This is a good segue to emphasize maintaining good hygiene and washing hands regularly as a means of stopping the spread. That said, let your children know they can always speak to you and build a space to keep the conversation ongoing.
Do Not Panic in Front of The Children
Manage your emotions and anxiety before speaking with your kid about the virus. Children need to know they are safe, so speak with them in a calm tone. They are way more observant and can pick up the slightest worry from your actions and language. Hence, be mindful of the words you use with them and keep your reactions to their questions in check.
Allow Kids to Process Their Fears and Anxiety
If your kid feels stressed or worried about the virus, let them know they are not alone. If your kids ask questions like whether they could get sick, let them know that the world over fewer children have fallen sick in comparison to adults. Depending on their age, you can cautiously let them know that while they may not get sick, they have the potential to spread the virus to an elderly person who is at more risk. Understand what scares them the most and address their fears rationally.
Build a Daily Routine
A change in the situation can be scary. You can help your kids cope by developing a healthy daily routine. By giving them tasks, they develop skills necessary for holistic development, while at the same time, be active. This also gives children control over their day, keeping their anxiety under control. You can also help them develop good hygiene by building it as part of their daily schedule.
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