With news of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, everywhere, many parents and caregivers are
wondering what to say to their children to be reassuring. The truth is the coronavirus has been on most people’s minds and has been a topic of conversation from the workplace to the playground.
For this reason, it is normal and reasonable to assume most children will have already heard a lot about it. However, when children don’t have the facts, they fill in the blanks with their own beliefs. It is so important to start a conversation and to continue sharing the facts about what we do know and to remember, it’s okay to not have all the answers. The following are some things to consider when talking with children.
1. Deal with your own anxiety and fears before speaking with your child. Children look
to adults to know how to respond. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey
the facts and to set the emotional tone.
2. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Take cues from the child and let them ask questions or
share what they are feeling. Not talking about something can actually make children
worry more. Share what you know and focus on what we CAN do. We can wash our
hands; cover our mouths when we sneeze or cough, practice social distancing, etc.
3. Be developmentally appropriate with what you share. Children just want to feel safe.
Make sure you are sticking to business just like during other school breaks. Structured
days with regular meal times and bed times are an essential part of keeping kids happy
and healthy. Predictability helps all of us feel more secure.
4. Keep the conversations going. Allow everyone to express how they are feeling.
5. Remind everyone that we are going to do everything we can to stay healthy and to
keep those around us healthy as well.
Should you need to speak to a School Counselor during this time, you may contact the Central Office by phoning (423) 743-1600.