It is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the information being circulated about the Coronavirus and is reasonable if your child may be sharing some of those feelings too. Children might find it difficult to understand the current changes in our society and conversations they are hearing – so they can be particularly vulnerable to feelings of anxiety, stress and sadness. But, having open, regular, supportive discussions with your child can help them understand, cope and even make a positive contribution for others. (Unicef Aus, 2020)
1. Ask open questions and listen to their worries
Invite your child to talk about the issue and find out how much they know already. Allow your child to communicate freely even through means of drawings, stories and other activities. By acknowledging their feelings you’ll assure them that it is natural to feel scared about these things.
2. Tell the truth
Be honest. Use age-appropriate language, watch their reactions, and be sensitive to their level of anxiety. Here you can read some suggested answers to possible questions they may have.
3. Focus on what they can do to keep safe
Optimistically, explain the ways they can help reduce the spread. Sing along with The Wiggles or watch our video on how to properly wash your hands – make learning fun. Reassure them that following the rules will help keep everyone safe and it will pass. We have created some colourful posters that you can place around the house > Stop The Spread TimeOut Educare.
4. Check that they are not experiencing or spreading stigma
The outbreak has brought with it reports of racial discrimination around the world, so it’s important to explain that coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where they are from or what language they speak.
5. Stick to routine
If possible, keep regular routines and schedules especially before they go to sleep, or help create new ones together.
6. Look for helpers
It’s important for children to know that people are helping each other with acts of kindness and generosity. Share these heart-warming stories with them
7. Look after yourself
Take care of yourself and make time for things that help you relax. It will help your child by creating stability and reassurance.
8. Close the conversation with care.
Ensure to continue having these conversations with your child.