The current pandemic is new and scary for all of us. So you may be struggling with how to tell your kids about Coronavirus. While there is no perfect way to explain the situation to them, here are some tips on explaining the pandemic.
Reducing Your Children’s Anxiety
A lot has changed for kids in the past few weeks. Parents are working at home, or not working. School is happening at home, or not happening. Furthermore, many parents are anxious. If they hear the news, the dire numbers of deaths and infections can create a lot of stress and anxiety for children.
So what should you tell kids about Coronavirus? The very first thing that you should make clear to your children is that the virus is almost never fatal in healthy people. In most cases, even if you catch this virus, the effects will be no worse than a very bad cold or the average flu. In other words, you’ll need plenty of fluids and bed rest. But you won’t be at major risk.
It has been estimated by many medical experts that almost all people will catch some form of virus at some point in their lives. In fact, it may have already happened to you or your children without any of you even being aware of it. You may have simply thought you had a bad cold and treated it with over the counter medication.
This is not to underestimate the potentially deadly effects of the virus. It can be deadly to the very elderly as well as those whose immune system is compromised. But for the average healthy person, adult, and child alike, it will be survivable. There is no need to scare your kids about Coronavirus, especially if they are very young.
Let Your Kids Know How to Stay Safe from the Virus
The next thing you need to do is teach your kids how to stay safe from the virus. Safety, after all, is bound to be a major source of anxiety for them. You can start by covering the basics. Doctors are urging people to stay home. They want you to avoid getting in groups of people over 10.
Doctors also want you to wash your hands quite often and for at least 20 seconds at a time. Pass this info on to your kids. Most importantly, make sure that you practice what you preach. If your kids see you skimping on any of these steps, they won’t feel compelled to follow your example.
Teaching your kids how to stay safe during the virus outbreak is a great way to relieve their anxiety. Your job as a parent is to stay on top of the latest news so that you can pass it on to them. It’s also your responsibility to uplift and comfort them so they will feel as safe as possible during this crisis.
Make Sure Your Kids Have Plenty to Do Indoors
During the quarantine and social distancing days, your kids are naturally going to be spending a great deal of time indoors. This means it will be up to you to make sure they have plenty to do. You don’t want them sitting around glued to their phones or TV and getting more worried with each breaking story.
The recent outbreak of the virus is as good an excuse as any to reconnect with your kids if need be. Share some quality time around the kitchen table. Let them know that this current outbreak will pass. As long as they take the proper precautions, things will be fine. But, above all, be intimate and outgoing with your kids.
Plan some fun activities with your family so that no one will be bored. This is the key to keeping up a good level of morale. The more engaged they are in a game or a nice conversation, the less inclined they will be to dwell on the worst that could possibly happen.
Running out of things to do at home? Check out our recent blog post on what to do when you’re stuck at home.
After Explaining the Pandemic
All of the above-named steps are important when it comes to letting your kids know they are not alone. The virus is a major source of potential panic but it can be defeated. Working together is the way to beat it. Once you’ve taught your kids about coronavirus and explained the pandemic, let them know you will get through it as a family.