A Step-By-Step Guide to Talking to Your Child About COVID-19

by Vanessa Shen on May 15, 2020

A Step-By-Step Guide to Talking to Your Child About COVID-19

The pandemic has brought everyone into a rapidly changing world—people have lost their daily routines and have been thrown into uncertainty and isolation. All of these could lead to unpleasant feelings such as fear and loneliness, as well as anxiety and depression. Moreover, people also operate in a highly digital world, which means that rumours, misinformation, and information overload pose even more dangers. You may feel out of control, unsure of what to do or how to make things better. When you feel this way, your children may feel it too—they often sense the way you’re feeling. There’s no use hiding the state of the world, as their lives have been affected, too. Accomplishing this can prove to be challenging, however, but it’s necessary.

COVID-19 has become a constant subject of daily conversation. As a mother, you may be wondering (or at loss) how you can best support your children’s needs and understanding the extent of the coronavirus impact. Your children will likely be confused and afraid, and the only way to help them cope and feel safe is through an honest and accurate discussion.

To help you communicate the best way possible, here is a step-by-step guide you can follow:

Step #1: Define the COVID-19

Medical terms may be too technical for your children, so try to explain the definition of COVID-19 like this: COVID-19 is caused by a germ that makes people sick. People affected by this usually have a cough, fever, and may have trouble breathing. Some people affected by the germ, however, may not feel sick at all. Others, still, only have mild symptoms like that of a cold.

Step #2: Explain how the infection spreads

By now, you’ve probably explained or taught them how to properly wash their hands. Explaining how the virus spreads is crucial—you’ll want your children to understand the motivation behind the sudden necessity of hygienic routines. Again, your language is crucial. Try to explain it this way: The germs spread from an infected person to another, especially since it may live on their hands and touch their mouths, noses, or eyes. Unfortunately, the virus is so tiny you can’t see it—this is why washing your hands as often as possible is important. Try not to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes either, especially if you’re unsure if your mouth is clean.

Step #3: Talk about all the efforts being taken

Tell them that the COVID-19 is all over the news and internet because it’s a new disease, one that has never been seen before. Doctors and other experts from all over the world work hard every day to learn about the disease, as well as help those infected by it recover. People also need to practice social distancing and quarantine, as it helps keep people safe from the virus.

Step #4: Show them what to do

After the conversation, ensure that you set a good example. Encourage proper and frequent hand washing, especially before meals, and after coughing and sneezing. If you take walks or let them play a little outside, make sure they wash their hands when coming home. Show them how to cough or sneeze into a tissue, as well as how to properly dispose of it. Show them that constant cleaning and disinfection is also necessary, especially on highly touched items and surfaces around the house.

Step #5: Remain calm

Your children will look to you for your reactions and feelings. Although these are unpredictable times, remind them that it’s okay to be afraid. However they may be feeling right now, tired or otherwise, will always be valid. Moreover, make sure to encourage a hopeful and healthy outlook. Let them know that there will be an end to the virus, and there’s so much to look forward to!

Step #6: Develop a routine

Since they’re mostly stuck at home, boredom will eventually strike. This may cause feelings of grumpiness or irritability to arise, so keep them occupied by creating a family routine. Come up with learning activities in the morning, proper meal times, chores to finish, as well as playtime and relaxation. Bedtime routines are also crucial. Any structure helps your children predict their days, which allows them to feel a little more in control despite the situation.

What else can you do?

The world is in a state of chaos, and unfortunately, there’s not much you can do at the moment. Caring for yourself during this time is incredibly important, so pay attention to your feelings. You may be worried about your children and loved ones now, but remember that you can only take good care of them when you do the same for yourself. Get enough rest, stay active, and keep a healthy and balanced diet.

If you’re looking for more kids tips, mum hacks or even precious baby girl clothes in Queensland during this time, get in touch with us! We’re all in this together—until then, keep well and safe!