During this time, it is understandable for children to have questions or express concern about the COVID-19 virus. As parents, teachers or caregivers, it is important to stay informed and communicate in age-appropriate ways that address children’s questions and helps them take steps to keep themselves and others healthy.
Here are some tips and resources to help:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it: Convey the facts and set an emotionally reassuring tone.
- Be age-appropriate: Teens can process and handle a higher level of detail than five year olds. Focus on answering your child/student’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly; it’s okay if you can’t answer everything.
- Follow their lead: Invite your child or student to ask questions and share their perspective: Invite them to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus and express how they feel.
- Check yourself: Feeling anxious? Take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
- Focus on actions you can take: Emphasize safety precautions everyone can take to help keep themselves and others healthy: good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, social distancing and staying home if you aren’t feeling well.
- Stick to routine: Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
- Keep talking: Tell kids/students you will keep them updated as you learn more. Let them know the lines of communication are going to be open and as you learn more, you will share the information with them, too.