It’s a spooky time right now to say the least. We are all adjusting to a new reality and explaining what is going on to kids can be a difficult conversation to navigate. Many of you reading this will have presumably already had a conversation about COVID-19, but it’s not the kind of topic that comes up just once. To help you talk about coronavirus and the impacts it is having on everyday life, we gathered some key points from moms and credible sources for when questions and concerns arise again. Here are five tips that we hope you will find helpful!
1) Start with asking kids what they already know
When you have an idea of what they know, you can fill in any blanks or correct misinformation. Asking them what they know also makes your conversation more of a back-and-forth dialogue, rather than a one sided discussion.
2) Only tell them what they need to know and what they ask about
The impacts of this health crisis are widespread and dramatic, however your five-year-old doesn’t need to know that. Talk to them about the things that impact their personal life.
For Biance, Spud.ca’s Director of Customer Experience and mother of two, she talks to her toddlers about why they can’t go to the playground or see their Oupa. For her, she says it’s “important to highlight what has changed, rather than overcomplicate it for their little minds ”. For Arndrea, Spud.ca’s Director of Retail Marketing and mother of preteens, she says “My role right now is to make them aware, not scared (because we shouldn’t be) but proactive on how to do our best to help the world stop this virus from spreading”.
3) Use language they understand
For younger kids, words like quarantine and social distancing can be hard to understand. Try to explain the situation in words that are more simple, such as “sickness, germs, staying away from friends for awhile.” This will ensure that kids truly understand what you are explaining to them.
4) Tell them about what they can control
Even worded in the best way possible, talking about a health crisis is still upsetting news. To offer some positivity, it is important to share solutions or ways that the situation can be controlled. Talk about the benefits of hand washing and the rewards of staying at home!
5) Lead by example
- 1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with-children.html
- 2. https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/talking-to-kids-about-covid-19/
- 3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/kids-covid-19/art-20482508