The past couple of months have been very extraordinary for many people. We now have the reality of the COVID-19 virus that is changing many aspects of how we live our lives. Many parents may feel at a loss about how to talk to their children about the uncertainties that living with a pandemic brings. After all, there is no easy way to discuss what is happening because it is unusual and unprecedented.
However, parents must certainly try to discuss the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation with their children, and here we offer some tips on how to manage this.
Children, even those who are younger, are able to absorb information about any situation more than we think. Don’t assume that just because you have not discussed it outright, that your kids have no idea about what is going on. A good first step in your talk you’re your kids is to find out exactly what they understand about what is going on.
You can begin with simple questions and check if there are any misconceptions your child might be harboring. Dig deeper and probe about how they feel about these things that they know.
When engaging in a sensitive discussion like this, it might be a good idea to lighten the mood by doing it alongside activities such as drawing, or story-telling as this creates a safer talking environment for your child.
One thing you should remember when it comes to discussing sensitive topics with your child is that you have to remain as calm and reassuring as you possibly can while using child-friendly language. You don’t want to incite further panic and fear in your child, especially if they may not yet fully understand how to deal with these negative emotions.
Let them know that you’re always by their side and that you’ll never fail in protecting them from any harm that may come their way.
Since children don’t really have much to do around this time, they may begin spending more time using smartphones, watching television, or using electronic gadgets. Make sure that your child is only getting exposed to accurate information regarding the COVID-19 virus. It’s important for you to be aware of your child’s media habits.
This does not mean that you’ll fully control which shows your child is watching – this only means that you should limit them to shows that present correct information. You’d want your children to stay away from sites or channels that promote harmful language towards groups of people or those which provide inaccurate statistics and data.
Your children might feel excessively worried when it comes to dealing with something as unfamiliar as the COVID-19 virus. As a parent, you can easily remedy this by showing your children how they can protect themselves from the virus.
Talk to them about the importance of correct handwashing techniques, practicing social distancing, wearing facemasks, and using hand sanitizers or other kinds of disinfectants. Teaching them the proper ways of keeping safe allows them to be better reassured about the situation.
Talking to children about uncertainty during COVID-19 may seem difficult in the beginning. As a parent, you have to remember that you should always be careful with your words in order for your children to understand them.
When it comes to discussing COVID-19 topics with your child, the best piece of advice is to always adopt a calm and reassuring tone. This doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on the quality of information that you’re relaying to your child. The challenge lies in finding the delicate balance between using child-friendly language and bringing timely facts to the fore of your discussions.