Guidance for Parents: Explaining the Corona Virus to Children

News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to conversations among strangers on the street. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Our Student Support staff have put together a few links that may help your talk to your kids about this virus.

Here are a few tips from the Child Mind Centre:

Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus – Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone.

Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.

Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions.

Deal with your own anxiety. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.

Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking and empower them to take their own e.g. thorough hand washing.

Stick to routine. Structured days with organised learning times, regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy. (We’ve compiled some resources on home schooling your children here.)

Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more

See below for more resources and be sure to contact the school staff or reach out to other parents on Classlist for further support. Stay home, stay healthy and stay positive!

https://www.savethechildren.org/us/what-we-do/emergency-response/coronavirus-outbreak/coronavirus-outbreak-how-to-explain-children

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/health/coronavirus/what-should-i-tell-my-child-about-coronavirus-how-explain-covid-19-kids-without-scaring-them-2482226

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