In these troubled times it can be hard to know what to say to your little ones about coronavirus. We posted a little bit about how to talk to your child about coronavirus here, but as the problem escalates, we’ve got some more handy hints on just what you should be saying and how.
When things are tough your children look to you for reassurance, that’s why it’s important to keep on top of the stats. Being able to tell them that it’s only a few percent of people who die and that most are just hospitalised can help with anxiety. Let them know that although rates are rising precipitously it’s probably only for the next few months to a year.
But don’t make the common mistake of trying to know too much – remember to be honest! When they ask if they will get ill or if you will it’s OK to say “I don’t know”, if they ask if someone they love could die it’s OK to admit that you don’t know. This honesty will help calm your child’s fears.
Explaining things simply to your child using daily examples they can relate to or using concrete examples can help. So for example, you could explain the concept of risk being stratified by age by telling them you’re more likely to die than they are, but their grandparents are most likely to die. Or demonstrate social isolation by taking their favourite toy, place it in a box and put it out of reach. Tell them they’ll get it back in two weeks.
Lastly, empower your child by letting them know that there is still things they can do to help. Make sure they know if they don’t wash their hands well enough other people will suffer. Or if they don’t practice good social distancing they will infect vulnerable individuals.
And remember, keep your sense of humour. Sometimes, when your child comes to you with all their worries and fears it’s good to just laugh.
Have you tried talking with your infant about Coronavirus? Try making a fun game out of quarantining them in their room and see how long they can last! Let us know how you get on!