3/21/2020 7:26:00 AM How to talk to kids about coronavirus
As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear.
The School District of Rhinelander website includes the following tips for parents. This information was taken from flyer distributed by CESA 6 in Oshkosh.
How to talk to kids about coronavirus
Remain calm and reassuring; Make yourself available to listen and to talk
Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma
Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online
Provide information that is honest and accurate
Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs
Helping kids cope with stress during the outbreak
Children may respond to stress in different ways such as being more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, angry or agitated, bedwetting etc. Respond to your child's reactions in a supportive way, listen to their concerns and give them extra love and attention.
Children need adults' love and attention during difficult times. Give them extra time and attention. Remember to listen to your children, speak kindly and reassure them. If possible, make opportunities for the child to play and relax.
Try and keep children close to their parents and family and avoid separating children and their caregivers to the extent possible. If separation occurs (e.g. hospitalization) ensure regular contact (e.g. via phone) and reassurance.
Keep to regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or help create new ones in a new environment, including school/learning as well as time for safely playing and relaxing.
Provide facts about what has happened, explain what is going on now and give them clear information about how to reduce their risk of being infected by the disease in words that they can understand depending on their age.
This also includes providing information about what could happen in a reassuring way (e.g. a family member and/or the child may start not feeling well and may have to go to the hospital for some time so doctors can help them feel better).
Helping little ones understand
To access videos and other informational resources, visit: pbs.org/parents/ thrive/how-to-talk-to-your- kids-about-coronavirus.
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