HOW TO TALK ABOUT COVID WITH YOUR CHILD
Since having COVID-19 take over our world, so many things have changed, everything from our daily routines, weekend activities, our jobs, how we care for our children, and more. As parents and adults, we are forced to process this change quickly and continue moving along in life for the sake of our families and livelihood. But have you thought about how your child might process this change? Have they been removed from school or daycare? Can they no longer attend typical play groups or have the freedom of playing at the park like they used to? Have you sat down and TALKED about this change with your child? Explained what is happening, what COVID is, what it means, how to stay safe? Parents, this is SO important, because whether you realize it or not, they are also struggling to process this change just as much as you might be.
Here are some helpful tips and resources on ways you can healthily start a conversation with your child about COVID:
- Remain calm, stable, and ensure them that they are safe.
- Find out what they might already know by asking questions, such as “do you know about the sickness going around?”, “do you know how it can affect your body?”, “do you know how to protect yourself and our family from it?”.
- Be honest and age-appropriate in what you say to your child. Provide them with the facts, but avoid things that might increase their fear for anxiety. Try the rule of for every negative thing you say regarding COVID, also say something positive (i.e. “many people are having to go to the hospital to get help because of this sickness, but many people are also able to stay at home and get better on their own”). This can also help reduce our own anxiety.
- Don’t pretend to know everything. If your child asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, say so.
- Teach your child everyday actions to stay safe. For example, washing hands often for at least 20 seconds, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, finding ways to stay active, and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces. Make these things seem fun and like a game to motivate your child to engage in this safety practices daily.