Children might find it difficult to understand what they’re seeing online or on TV – or hearing from other people – so they can be vulnerable to feelings of anxiety, stress and sadness. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you’re hearing about coronavirus disease.
But having an open, supportive discussion with your children can help them understand, cope and even make a positive contribution for others.
We made a list of tips you can use to keep talking to your children about Covid-19
- Be sure to acknowledge their feelings and assure them that it’s natural to feel scared about these. Demonstrate that you’re listening by giving them your full attention, and make sure they understand that they can talk to you and their teachers whenever they like.
- Be honest. Explain the truth in a child-friendly way. Use age-appropriate language, watch their reactions, and be sensitive to their level of anxiety.
- Encourage regular handwashing, teach them to wash every little finger and thumb singing a song. You can also show them how to cover a cough or a sneeze with their elbow, explain that it’s best not to get too close to people.
- Help your children cope with the stress by making opportunities for them to play and relax, when possible. Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible, especially before they go to sleep, or help create new ones in a new environment.
- Take care of yourself. If you’re feeling anxious or upset, reach out to other families, friends and trusted people in your community. Make some time to do things that help you relax: take a walk around your neighborhood, exercise, breath fresh air or get crafty.
Remind your children that they can have other difficult conversations with you at any time. Reassure them that you care, you’re listening and that you’re available whenever they’re feeling worried.