It can be difficult enough for adults to understand everything about a pandemic and the changes it brings to our lives. That being the case, it’s understandable that children may have an even more difficult time understanding what it means.
As a parent, it can be difficult to find the right words to explain what’s going on. It can be a challenge to reassure them when you’re not sure how to go about it.
If you’re feeling at a loss for words, you’re not the only one. Families across the globe are currently finding themselves having to explain a very adult subject in ways that little minds can understand. Here are some of the best tips for getting you through explaining the Coronavirus to children.
Keep Them Safe
The first thing that you should do is to reassure them by making them feel safe. Assure them that you will do your very best to keep them away from anyone who is infected, and put your money where your mouth is. Follow through and indeed keep them safe by following government recommendations and quarantining accordingly.
Keeping them safe doesn’t have to mean panicking, though. Children are susceptible to anxiety, so it’s important to ensure that you don’t allow them to see your fear. Show them that everything will be okay, even though you may be doubting it.
Answer Their Questions
It’s likely that they’ll have plenty of questions about the virus. It’s important that you answer their questions as well as you can. When they ask you questions, it’s helpful to try to reply in the simplest terms possible.
Use language that they understand in simple terms. Some p[arents have explained the virus in the form of a story, explaining how it gets inside of your “house” as tiny germs. When you use terms that they can understand in the form of a story through characters.
Give Them Responsibility
When you give kids a sense of responsibility, they’ll be much more willing to follow through with what you ask of them. Make them feel like they have the power, and they’ll be enthusiastic about proving it.
Encourage them to wash their hands regularly as a way to help others. When they start to see how washing their hands not only helps them but also others, they’ll feel like heroes.
It’s also important to remind them to cough and sneeze into the inside of their elbow. Rather than simply saying, “don’t cough or sneeze into your hand,” explain why they should do the alternative. When you explain to children why you are giving them a job to do, they’ll be much more open to following through with it.