Talking to children about Coronavirus can be hard; as adults we know much more than they do, and we worry about making them anxious.
Sometimes this can stop us talking directly to children about Coronaviru
s and this can make them even more anxious. It’s always better to have a conversation with a child than to try and ignore it.
- With young children kneel down so they can see your face while you are talking
- Use language which they can understand
- Answer the question they have asked – don’t go into lengthy explanations
- Try and use examples that they are familiar with e.g. “It’s like when you were ill last year and had to stay off school”.
- Add an element of fun where you can – try singing a favourite song while washing your hands together for 20 seconds
- Stick to routine if possible; children feel safe when they know what is going to happen next. Have a structure that you stick to each day with regular mealtimes and bedtimes
- Be careful of how much information your child is getting from the media one topic can make them more anxious
- Try to avoid having conversations in front of children when they are not included; overhearing things and how concerned you are will worry them
- If they are worried, reassure them that most people get better and that people aren’t unwell for long
- Do get your information from reliable sources such as Governmentwebsites, the NHS or the BBC
- Here is a great story about the pandemic for kids https://carolgraysocialstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Pandemics-and-the-Coronavirus.pdf
Being isolated, bored and anxious at home can lead to feelings of low mood, irritability and depression. I have put together some top apps for children and teens that should help keep them amused. Some apps are fun some more educational. Before handing a phone or tablet over to a kid, make sure they don’t know the password for your account, and that they need to ask before they click.