When schools closed and everyone was ordered to stay indoors, my kids were baffled.
They did not understand why suddenly, they weren’t allowed to go to school or see their friends.
As parents, we are faced with the challenge of explaining a lot of things to our kids so they can understand what is going on around them.
When the coronavirus pandemic started, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to talk to my kids about it because the whole thing was scary even to me.
Who would have thought that a cough or a sneeze could bring the entire world to its knees?
So I decided, it was much better for the kids not to know what was happening because I didn’t want them dealing with anxiety, fear, and panic.
Despite this, I still made sure to teach them the importance of hygiene activities like washing their hands frequently.
However, in school (this was before schools closed down), all everyone would talk about was the Coronavirus outbreak.
So after hearing about the virus from their friends and even some of their teachers, they came home with a lot of questions.
It was at this time that I realized that I couldn’t keep quiet anymore and let the kids digest information from other sources that may not even be true.
So I sat down with my husband and we talked about how we were going to explain everything to the kids without causing panic or fear.
We came to the conclusion that honesty was the best option so in our talk with the kids, we tried to be as straightforward as possible.
Here are some tips that I found helpful when explaining the Coronavirus pandemic to my kids.
The Coronavirus pandemic has already taken a lot of things from us including our peace of mind.
I know that all of us are uncertain about the future right now and we’re panicking about the possibilities but we cannot let our kids see that.
When you panic, you can be assured that the kids will pick up on it and they’ll also panic.
Our kids rely on us to tell them that everything is going to be okay.
So, we really cannot afford to frighten them by letting our stress and anxiety levels show.
I have a friend who was recently laid off from her job. She’s a single parent and currently, she’s relying on stimulus checks from the government to get by.
However, when she’s with her kids, she still tries to put on a brave face and smile because she doesn’t want her kids to worry.
It’s hard not to worry about the situation right now. However, if you’re feeling stressed, step away for a bit and take some time for yourself to calm down before facing the kids.
Be Open and Listen
I know that there are so many things about COVID-19 that you can tell the kids, however, it’s much better to sit back and let them tell you what they would like to know.
When I was talking to my kids, I limited my answers to the things my kids wanted to know.
I had a script on what I was going to tell the kids but I didn’t really use it because I wanted them to drive the conversation.
Let the kids speak freely and try to address their concerns as best as you can.
You don’t have to pretend to know all the answers when talking with your kids.
The truth is, we really don’t know much about this virus but we should be honest with the kids about what we do know.
When I was talking with the kids, I tried to explain what the virus is. I also explained how it spreads from one person to another, how to prevent it and what is being done about it.
As a parent, you should understand how much information your child can consume. So as much as you’re being truthful, try not to overload their senses with too much information.
It’s Okay to Say ‘I Don’t Know’
It’s obvious that we do not have the answers to everything. In fact, even the best scientists are still trying to understand Covid-19.
So, don’t be afraid to tell your kids that you do not know.
In fact, it’s much better to tell them that you don’t know than to tell them lies or half-truths.
Let the kids understand that even though you do not have the answers right now, you’re working to find out more and you’ll keep them informed.
Use Trustworthy Sites for Information
There is so much fake news going around right now that it’s important to search for the truth.
When I was talking to my kids, I constantly referred to credible sites like WHO so I could get the most accurate information.
If you’re not sure about something, look for information from credible sources.