Navigating the Pandemic as a Parent
COVID-19 is a complicated subject to understand and follow for us adults, meaning it’s more challenging to navigate for children of all ages. By now coronavirus has been a major topic that even your kids are wondering and possibly anxious about. With such a complex and worrisome pandemic changing our lives, it’s important to consider how to discuss the topic with your children and address their fears, even as we get back into a more normal routine.
Start from the top
It’s important to begin by understanding what they already know. By assessing if the information they know, where they learned it and if what they understand is correct will allow you to better guide young children toward a better understanding of the situation at hand.
Explain the Situation in Simple Terms
It’s important to bring the complexity of the subject down to a level that is age-appropriate. While media coverage has enabled our working knowledge to become in-depth regarding the topic, due to its ongoing prevalence and our need to monitor its constant change, it’s important that you slow things down and avoid oversharing too many intricate details. Your kids are likely less knowledgeable on the intricacies of the situation, so consider bringing the situation down to a language they’ll understand.
Address Fears and Minimize Trauma
A national emergency of this size is surely to make a lasting and traumatic impact on people of all ages. Children may be experiencing their own level of trauma simply due to the sudden change in culture and lifestyle the globe is experiencing, let alone the coronavirus itself and its potential to do harm. They may know someone who has become infected and be fearful of their well-being. There are a number of fears for all of us at this time, and it’s important to ensure you educate and reassure children about the ongoing situation in a manner that provides confidence and negates amplifying existing fears. It’s important kids feel safe, while understanding the gravity of the situation to ensure they do not put their health or the well-being of others in danger.
Guide and Teach
The most important thing you can do to help your kids navigate coronavirus is to teach them proper hygiene techniques and routines. The best way to avoid the virus in the future is to keep your hands clean, practice social distancing and to avoid touching your face. Prior to a show of symptoms, or receiving testing, it’s virtually impossible to determine whether of not you’ve come into contact with and spreading coronavirus. As such, practicing these measurements and ensuring your children are too is vital to your well-being and the well-being of others.