As we work through our new routines, we are likely facing multiple questions from our children about the coronavirus. While it is important to be honest with them, we should be cautious of overwhelming them with fear or anxiety. Experts at the Child Mind Institute have listed a few ways to answer your children’s questions truthfully as we teach them to understand the world around them.
Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. “You take on the news and you’re the person who filters the news to your kid,” says Janine Domingues, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Withholding information from your children can cause more worry than actually sharing the information with them.
Be developmentally appropriate. Remember that children are curious and naturally observe and take in a lot of information daily. Try not to give them too much information in an effort to keep your message clear.
Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe.We know the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. Jamie Howard, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute says that children feel empowered when they know how to keep themselves safe. Explain to your child that the most effective way to stay healthy and safe during this challenging time is to thoroughly wash his or her hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
The Child Mind Institute lists a number of ways that we can work together to keep the children in our care happy, safe, and healthy. Check out the rest of the article here for more tips on talking with your children about coronavirus.
Kids Health also offers interesting tips and information about talking with your children about coronavirus.
For more information about the coronavirus from the CDC, click here.