These are strange and uncertain times that we’re living in and we’re all experiencing feelings of anxiety to some degree. Times are scary for adults, but they can be just as concerning for young ones.
With so many opinions going around about the severity of COVID-19, it can be easy for your kids to get ahold of misinformation. Overhearing the 6 o’clock news or discussions you may be having on the phone with a relative can be unsettling for a child.
So, it’s important to discuss Coronavirus with your children by keeping the conversation age-appropriate and factual.
Ask Your Children What They’ve Heard And Clarify Misinformation
This is something that we should all be exercising. We don’t know what our children are hearing from friends and other family members not to mention what they are seeing on their devices. We should clarify exactly what is that they’ve heard and ease their fears and anxieties.
We should lay out some facts about the virus. And, you can even reassure your children by letting them know that most people who contract COVID-19 are able to rest for a while and then recover.
Explain To Your Children The Importance Of Handwashing
Your children probably already know all about handwashing but this is the time to really show its importance.
Make sure every member of your family does it before meals, snacks, and when coming in from outdoors. Let your children know how germs spread and reassure them that the best way of fighting off germs is by washing your hands.
Your children are going to want to do the things that you do. Make handwashing look like a fun activity that is of great importance. This will help them to wash their hands several times a day, and keep them safe from germs.
Teach Your Children To Cough Or Sneeze Into Their Elbows
When you’re having the conversation about the spread of germs with your children, explain how sneezing into their hands and then touching things is a sure way to spread germs. The safest way to sneeze and cough without spreading germs is by doing it into their elbows.
Make it fun, and praise your children when they do this. Congratulate them for protecting others from the bad germs that can spread if we don’t cover up our coughs. And, if they accidentally cough or sneeze into their hands, remind them to wash their hands right away.
Explain The Importance Of Staying Home And Resting When Sick
Coronavirus spreads through close contact and common greetings such as handshakes and hugs. The best way to prevent yourself and others from getting sick is by staying home if you aren’t feeling well.
Assure your little ones that by staying home and resting, they are preventing the spread of germs and by getting a good night’s sleep, they’re being germ-fighting superheroes! This may help them to stay inside a little less reluctantly and it may also help them to get into bed on time 😉
Make Adjustments To They Types Of Activities You Do As A Family
One of the biggest things that may have thrown off your child was a bump in their routine and the abrupt halt that they had to endure with the closure of schools and many public places earlier this year. Try your best to provide fun activities for your family that help ease the frustration they may be experiencing with our “new normal”.
We’ve come up with a long list of family-friendly activities you can do while still practicing physical distancing. Check out the list here and be sure to download a free PDF copy of our Quarantine Bucket List!
Watch Informative, Child-Friendly Videos
You can find child-friendly videos on YouTube that do a good job of teaching children about how the Coronavirus works, fighting germs and staying safe. And, there are many others out there if you look hard enough. Be sure to watch these videos and others that you find online before sharing them with your children. This is to make sure that you are comfortable with the information being shared and that it is age-appropriate.
Search some of your children’s favourite cartoon characters on Youtube and add “talks about germs” or other relevant keywords that will help filter the search results. You might find a video that truly speaks to your children.
Be A Healthy Family And Lead By Example
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. There are plenty of discussions that you can have with your children regarding Coronavirus and the best methods to stay healthy & safe but living by example is key.
Eat healthy meals with your children, wash your hands often, practice physical distancing and be sure to wear your mask. Children look up to their family members, so if you’re not practicing a healthy lifestyle, you can’t expect them to.
Lead by example and keep your children’s minds at ease. Assure them that the virus won’t last forever.