With so many conversations and community changes focused on the coronavirus – from new family rules to extended school closings – it’s only natural for children to worry. Don’t ignore their concerns. In the absence of information, children often imagine the worst.
The National Association of School Psychologists has prepared an excellent resource for parents on Talking to Children About COVID-19. Their advice includes:
- Remain calm and reassuring – Children look to their parents and other adults for guidance during stressful times. What you say and how you respond to COVID-19 can either increase or decrease their anxiety. Reassure them that health and school officials are working hard to make sure people stay healthy.
- Make yourself available – Your kids may need extra attention from you and want to talk about their fears and questions. Make time to listen and tell them you love them with plenty of affection.
- Monitor television viewing and social media – Avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present. In addition, constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase their anxiety. When it comes to social media, let them know that stories they see online about COVID-19 may be based on rumors and inaccurate information. Instead, give your children factual, age-appropriate information about the virus to help reduce their anxiety.