How to talk to children about coronavirus

How to talk to children about coronavirus

Children worry more when they are kept in the dark

(Rachel Ehmke)

Children can worry about how the virus can affect not only them but also their family and friends. To help minimize their fears, it is important that we avoid the topic and provide them with facts and assurance in a calm manner. We should try to work out any fears we may have before talking to our children. It is not for our children to feel like the world is so scary. Depending on the age of your child, you can also say something appropriate to the situation.

Most importantly, listen to your child's concerns, validate their feelings and keep the communication open. Make sure your child is available to talk to them. Even if you're not sure how to answer their questions, you can reassure them by saying your support. It's good to remind our children that many medical professionals are managing the situation as much as possible created. Young children especially may not fully understand COVID-19 or its complications, but you can still use this as an opportunity to teach them about the importance of hand washing and hygiene to stay healthy.

Young children should talk about:

Practicing proper hand hygiene

Do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth

Cough in your elbow and cover your nose and mouth when sneezing

We know that kids are quite resilient. It is important to know that children are fed by our anxieties and worries.

Model healthy behaviors by tagging your emotions and communicating how you handle your stress and anxiety. Furthermore, make sure you are practicing self-care.

If children ask about face masks, explain that they are not needed for most people. If children see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being very careful. Do not provide more details about how much your child has an interest. Tell your child that they should sleep comfortably. Tell your child that this illness is different from a cold because it is new, but people are really trying to make sure it doesn't spread, and they treat sick people. It is very important in these days to become a good role model and if we have difficulty getting immediate contact with the relevant specialist be it a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist.

PhD Enertila Bekteshi

Clinical Psychologists