Are your kids asking about the virus?
Are they even starting to worry about the virus?
In our house we have our simple answer:
“There is a new virus in the world that makes people sick and it is spreading fast.”
My husband and I first compare the virus to a cold since our kiddos know what a cold is! Then we let them know that it is more serious than a cold and that’s why we need to be safe. We share that we are staying home to prevent spreading germs.
We stay consistent in our response which we feel is age appropriate for our little ones. Then, we answer any questions as they arise.
When I think about how we’re handling this very serious topic with our kids, four things really help our discussions.
Here are four tips you can use when talking about the Coronavirus with your children:
Tip #1 – Set the tone for your house!
This needs to be top of mind.
If you are visibly panicking, you are going to be setting a tone of worry for your children. Our kids take their cues from us. So if you are unsettled, chances are, they will be too.
If you find yourself feeling anxious, try your hardest to not carry that worry around the house. You may need to process your emotions created by this situation and trust me taking care of yourself first will go a long way to set an appropriate tone for your home.
If you need outside help, check out this article that will help guide you:
Tip #2 – Answer questions in a simple manner
Take the cues from your child.
Only answer the question they are asking. If they have more questions, we all know they will ask!
We have a tendency to over-explain things to our children and this can lead to more confusion and even worry in your child’s mind.
Keep your answers simple and direct.
Tip #3 – Share what you’re doing to stay safe
Tell your children the precautions you are taking as a family.
This will reassure your child that you are keeping them safe. Our children look to us for reassurance so tell them everything you are doing!
Tip #4 – It’s OK to Feel Disappointed
Events are being canceled, not just school but birthday parties, soccer games, gymnastics….pretty much everything.
Children will be disappointed when their “thing” gets canceled and that’s OK.
Give them time to feel disappointed. Tell them you understand how hard it is, and give them the space to talk. This is a good time to talk about what disappointment is and how they can manage it
Our children are ultimately looking to us, as the adults, for reassurance that everything is going to be OK. Use the tips above to help provide them the security they need from you.
Remember to take deep breathes, take care of yourself so you can be the support for your children that they need. You are doing GREAT!!