We should be cautious when talking to our children about the corona virus. It is vitally important that we do; however, they need a different explanation than adults do. Talking to your children about the coronavirus can be hard. We do not like to see our children uncomfortable or scared. We also want to keep them safe. It can be done when we do it in a delicate way that does not stretch their imagination too far. In this article, we explain how.
Talking to your kids can be difficult as they interpret the world in a different way than adults do. Children are more likely to exaggerate situations with their fears. They also have a tendency to not base their fears in reality. It’s common for children to be afraid of the dark. The reason is often due to their widened imagination. A kid who demands that the light be on during bed time may do so because they are afraid that a monster will get them if they don’t. This monster is somehow deterred from a shinning light.
Telling your kids about the dangers in a delicate way
Your kids need to know about the dangers the coronavirus brings. These should not be minimized or exaggerated. The most important place to start are the symptoms. You should want your child to come to you and tell you if they’re worried that they’ve become sick. Most likely, it is a normal childhood ailment that is not the coronavirus. With that said, it’s possible for anyone to get it.
Telling your kids how to prevent becoming sick
The CDC has suggested that certain methods are more effective than others at combating the coronavirus. First off, face masks are not recommended. While saliva and mucus contains the virus, it does not stay in the air very long. The virus rests on surfaces when saliva and mucus come into contact with them. These are the main recommendations from the CDC:
- Make sure your child washes their hands often
- Have them avoid close contact with other people
- Have them cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbow
- You should clean and disinfect your home
It’s vital that you do have your children wear a face mask and stay home if they are sick. With that said, following the list above makes it extremely unlikely. You should have them wear a face mask if they are around someone who is sick; however, it isn’t wise to let them be near an infected person.
Telling your kids that the panic is ridiculous
Many of the things going on right now are unnecessary. Adults are having irrational fears about the coronavirus just as much as children do. It’s important for your child to understand that this virus is a serious matter. Major events, like the Houston Rodeo, have closed to prevent the spread of it. New York City is now making places of business hold half their occupancy.
Dr. Ellisa Epel, long time researcher on stress, has suggested that we do not panic and stick to the research coming out on the coronavirus in an article published by The University of California San Francisco.
An article published by Time Magazine that focused on why shoppers are hoarding toilet paper stated that Americans often reach for supplies that can’t be replaced with something else during a crisis. There was no talk of it being medically necessary to buy toilet paper for prevention. Americans are in a panic, which is showing no signs of slowing down. Children need to understand that this behavior is odd and unnecessary. Seeing things of this nature makes them stressed even more than the adults are.
Telling your kids how important it is to not get others sick
Your children may be unaware of how important it is to stop this disease from spreading. Sadly, many Americans do not care if they get sick due to being in a low risk category. While children are much more likely to have a positive prognosis, it’s important that they do not take getting this disease lightly. It’s very possible that they could pass it on to someone in a vulnerable population. Vulnerable populations include the disabled, elderly, and infants.
Children need to know
It’s unavoidable. Your child is going to find out about the coronavirus if they are old enough to understand speech. Keeping your child from misinterpreting the corona virus depends on how well you communicate with him or her. Kids have different brains than adults do. It’s absolutely vital to tell them about this disease in a way they can understand. Don’t panic yourself!
For more inspiration on how to tell your kids about the coronavirus, watch this video: