Kids at different ages feel differently about the restricted movement that is going on. Some may miss their friends and activities at school, some may just want to go out and play. And some are scared due the recent changes, especially if they notice anxiety in their parents.
Before you talk to your children, it’s important to understand your own anxiety and keep it in check. If your child is worried about the coronavirus, listen to him or her, rather than respond with comments like, “It’ll be fine.” Dismissive reactions can make children feel like they’re not being heard.
Here are some tips from savethechildren.org on how to talk to kids about the situation now.
- Get informed and share the facts.
- Tailor your approach based on your child – think about whether more information makes them more or less anxious.
- Approach the subject simply and calmly – kids take their cues from you.
- Ask your child what they know, answer their questions and address any misinformation.
- Validate their feelings, while reassuring them – “I understand this can be scary. We’re taking steps to keep healthy, and we’re well prepared.”
- Remind them of what’s in their power – washing hands thoroughly and often, coughing and sneezing into their elbow, getting plenty of sleep, etc.
- Model good hygiene, and try to make it fun! Sing a favorite song while scrubbing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.