Talking to your kids

When stress is heightened, everyone feels it. A natural response as a parent “be the face of strength” and hide your feelings. However, our kids know us well, and will be able to sense your stress no matter how well you hide it. Your child will attempt to locate your source of stress and will make their own conclusion on the cause if you are not appropriately transparent.

Steps to talk to your kids about COVID 19:

  1. Ask them what they know about COVID 19. Assist them in having factual age appropriate information and protect them against false media/rumors. (For younger than school age a “bad germ”, school aged “a flu”, high school “pandemic”). 

  2. Let them be the guide on how in-depth the conversation is. 

  3. Help them be/feel proactive by reviewing safe handwashing and appropriate times for handwashing (to prevent overwashing and increased anxiety), discuss changes to your plans or schedule (school closing and vacation changes). Assure them you are doing everything to keep them safe and protected.

Additional considerations.

  • Acknowledge your feelings and express them in an age appropriate way. 

  • Be curious and accepting about your child's feelings and concerns. 

  • Help them make sense of the consequences of this pandemic and organize their thoughts and feelings. 

  • Limit exposure to news and media to avoid being overwhelming.

Managing social distancing at home

Create a schedule:

Make a daily schedule for your kids/family to maintain structure. Be sure to include mealtimes, exercise, family activities, and outdoor activities. 

Help your kids socialize:

Now is a time to be thankful for technology. Assist your kids in having play dates or hang outs with their friends over video chat (facetime, skype, zoom, etc). Check out the other pages on this site for more information. 

Self Care

This is the most important time to take care of you. Your child will see you taking good care of yourself and it will help them to do the same.

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.

  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.