If you’re looking for Tips for Talking to Your Children About the Pandemic then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together a list of resources for parents seeking advice on how to help children cope with the effects of Covid-19 on their lives.
I know I’m not the only parent struggling with kids asking why schools are closed on a daily basis. Who would have ever thought we’d be living such a crazy life because of a virus? Since I tested positive and my family was told to remain home indefinitely, I had to find out how to talk to children about the pandemic.
How are your daughters handling the pandemic?
My daughters are noticeably different since schools closed on March 6th. At first they thought it was fun, homeschool with Mom is the best! But then I became sick and retreated to my bedroom for almost two weeks. The girls weren’t allowed to enter the room, let alone hug me when they felt scared or sad.
I am grateful my husband is an amazing Dad and really stepped up when he had to take care of them alone. But, they were still suffering without Mom… I’ve always been two seconds away whenever my children are sad, scared, frustrated, or mad.
Annabelle is six years old and has always been an emotional child, but able to control most of what she feels. For the last two months we’ve witnessed emotional outbursts on all levels. She becomes overly excited, unbearably sad, and frustrated to the point where she runs and hides. I read an article about these new tantrums and I’m trying to not get mad when she throws them. We are working with her to express how she is truly feeling, but I know deep down she is just struggling to understand the pandemic like the rest of society.
Ailey is three years old and since she could talk she’s told us how she is feeling. She can verbalize her inner emotion – mad, sad, happy – and explain WHY she feels that way. What’s changed since the beginning of March? Ailey has started sucking her thumb, a habit she never possessed even as a baby. Brandon had no trouble taking away her pacifier in September, so we know this is a result of her anxiety surrounding our life changing.
Tips for Helping Children Cope
- Let your children’s questions guide you.
- Be honest and accurate with information. Any type of misinformation can cause a child to panic when they imagine a situation worse than reality.
- Monitor television and social media exposure – that’s where children may read the most extreme information.
- Keep explanations age appropriate (see more here).
- Maintain a daily routine, incorporating school as much as possible. Allow your child to send letters to their friends or teachers. Keeping a regular schedule provides a sense of control, predictability, calm, and well-being.
- Focus on the positive and celebrate having more time together as a family.
- Teach your child deep breathing and meditation techniques.
- Offer lots of love and affection.
Make Learning Fun
There are so many stories, videos, and interactive ways to make learning about the pandemic fun. It’s important to avoid inflicting any fear upon our children during this time. Check out these great resources for Kids and Coronavirus.
Download: My 2020 Covid-19 Time Capsule Coloring Book for Kids
Watch the special: Sesame Street and CNN Town Hall Discussing Coronavirus. My daughters LOVED this special!