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  • Writer's picturePeggy D. Sideratos

How to We Talk to Kids About the Corona Virus?

My dear friends, the changes we have seen in the past two weeks are simply incredible and beyond what we could have ever imagined. There is a plethora of information being thrown at us which has caused so much chaos, panic, and fear. Many schools have closed, while others continue to be open with many parents opting to keep their kids home. Young children, like the rest of us, are sensing the confusion, fear and chaos, even when we don’t explicitly share all the information with them about the virus. It’s difficult for all adults who are around children, whether they are educators, parents or caregivers, to know how to talk to kids about the virus. I think we need to use our judgement depending on the child’s age as to how much information we should share with them, but it’s important to assure them that they are not in danger of contracting it.

Here’s what I do know. Our words, and our energy need to be succinct. Kids can keenly sense the energy around them. If you are anxious, they will be too, even if you try to reassure them through your words that everything is OK. If the energy around them is one of anxiety and panic, it will transfer to the child, and you should not be surprised if it manifests itself in a change in their behavior. They may act out more than normal, complain more because they can’t go or do things they usually do, or start displaying fears they never had before. I know at times like this it’s very hard to truly feel calm, but we must try for their sakes. This is an opportunity for you to show them how you handle fear and anxiety. Practice deep breathing or do some exercises together, take time to distract yourselves from the news by having them help create a meal with you, or watch a movie together. Ask them to talk about how they are feeling and let them talk about it without rushing to squelch their emotions and concerns. When we do that, we give them the impression that we are not comfortable with them sharing their feelings with us. Give them some time to express themselves and ask them what they think could make them feel better. By all means, offer them comfort and reassurance. And if you believe in God or any higher power, this would be a great opportunity to teach your child the power of prayer.

Be safe and well my friends.

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