The word Coronavirus is on everybody’s lips right now from the television to radio shows and even in chats among people. You probably have denied your child permission to play with other children even though they are all at home. For many children, the situation is confusing and altering their normal routines feels unfair. You may have tried to tell them that it’s for their safety and that of others but they probably don’t understand it still. Here are tips on how to communicate about this coronavirus with your kids.
Assess your anxiety and information
Before having this discussion with your children, it is important to first analyze your situation. How much information do you have about the virus? The COVID-19 virus is new and so there is a lot of learning to do. You need to ensure that you have researched from credible sources and done away with a lot of misinformation.
After gaining correct information on the virus, you need to assess your anxiety level. Children take cues from their parents and guardians. If you are freaking out then this anxiety trickles down to your children. As a parent one needs to remain calm and positive, at least in front of the children.
Ask what your child knows
Depending on the child’s age, they have different levels of understanding of what is going on. The children have different sources of information such as peers, teachers and the internet. Understanding what the child knows will help you know what to say to them.
Use age-appropriate language and communication methods
If your child is older then you can be open with them and tell that this is a new disease that experts are trying to understand too. For older children, you can explain to them the seriousness of the situation. However, with younger children, you would probably have to liken the disease to something that they understand such as a cold or a tummy ache. You could also use videos online that animate the disease and make it easy to communicate what the coronavirus is to your kids.
Regularly monitor what information your kids come across
As experts try to find a cure for the virus, many theories are coming up. Some of the theories are wrong so you need to ensure that both you and your children get the correct information. This also helps you control the fear and panic in your kids.
Create an environment where your child can feel and express their emotions
The closure of schools, limited travel, cancellation of fun activities and other changes in routines affect the child. Let the kids know that it’s okay for them to feel sad and disappointed. By allowing the kids to express their emotions they are able to open up about any developing changes that may come along as we tackle this virus.