As the SARS-COV-2 virus spreads globally, people across the world have reached a stage of panic. With the extensive news coverage of every detail, the update of coronavirus is everywhere right from the first page of newspapers to the discussions happening in the living room.
Although children may keep on seeing information regarding coronavirus, they find it difficult to understand and express, and quite often they might be vulnerable to feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness and in turn respond being more agitated, clingy, withdrawn or showing anger towards others. The growing pandemic might develop fears and worries about the risk to their health and safety and that of their parents and family members.
As parents, you may feel the right to protect your child from any kind of emotional or physical distress, but you also need to understand that kids nowadays are quite intuitive and hence you should be delicate and honest about the approach instead of hiding and be extra supportive while discussing the lethal viral infection.
Children at the learning age have intricate imaginations that may lead them to create unnecessarily disastrous stories in their minds if parents do not talk about the ongoing pandemic at all. But on the flip side, providing too much information may also create extra alarm and raise unreasonable worries.
So, try talking to them and help them understand the spreading disease and allow them to slowly cope with their qualms.
How To Talk To Kids About Coronavirus
Gauge The Information:
Before starting the discussion regarding the pandemic, you should first know about how much your kid knows about the coronavirus. Your child must have already noticed people staying at home all the time, wearing masks while going out, cleaning the house every other day, and developed a kind of imagination of their own. So, you must casually start the discussion and ask them what they might have seen or heard about the ongoing disease. Make them feel welcome to talk to you about any kind of doubts they have in mind regarding the disease and try to answer appropriately following the child’s lead. Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Stay Honest In Discussion:
Depending upon the age of your kid, answer accordingly. Try not to offer more details than your kid is interested in. If your child is small, you can just explain to them that this coronavirus is similar to cold and flu and that they are not much at risk. A grown-up kid will have many questions to ask than a smaller one. To them, you can explain the cause and symptoms of the virus and how to deal with it. You can even explain to them how staying back at home or wearing the mask can help one combat the spreading coronavirus.
Be Reassuring And Supportive:
One of the most crucial things parents should keep in mind while talking to their kids is to keep calm and be less anxious. Try not to keep on watching the news channels regarding the spreading virus. Kids may not be able to differentiate the pictures shown on the television and their own reality which may ultimately make them believe that they are all moving towards an impending doom. Since staying at home and not being able to meet their playmates or friends can be stressful for kids of all ages, try being more supportive and help them divert their attention by providing opportunities for them to play, paint out their imagination, learn something new, read storybooks or just relax. Also Read: COVID-19: 9 Productive Ways To Keep Your Kids Engaged During The Social Lockdown
Teach Them Precautions:
In case you are experiencing some kind of outbreak nearby to your place, reassure your kids that they are likely to not get the disease if they follow the precautions by staying at home and that several people are working hard to keep everyone safe. As soon as you explain to your kids about the coronavirus, help them understand how to prevent getting the infection. Teach them good hygiene habits, like covering the mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing, avoid spitting on the roads, and washing hands frequently to prevent spreading the virus. Make this frequent hand-washing fun by singing the happy birthday song or any poem your kids like.
Converse With Care
As your conversation wraps up, try to understand their level of anxiety by watching their body language. It’s imperative to know that you are not leaving the kid in a state of distress and try to end the conversation on a happy note to reassure the kids that they are not in any kind of danger. You can simply spend some time with your kid afterward by playing with them or just read out a happy story to show that even though there might be some problems, finally everything comes to a happy ending.