News of COVID-19 is everywhere— from the newspapers to TV news stations to dinner table discussions. This pandemic has had unprecedented effects on every stratum of life. Schools have had to close early. Exams were canceled or postponed and nationwide transport shut down and almost all businesses have been closed.
While adults understand the reason for such drastic steps, it’s the children who suffer as they can’t play with anyone, forget friends, not even people in their apartment or neighborhood. Many parents are wondering how to discuss the topic of this pandemic with their children in a way that children feel better and don’t feel worried.
Here are some tips to discuss COVID-19 with your children:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about the epidemic
By now your children might have heard about the virus. They have also seen people walking/driving wearing masks, so there’s no reason for you to avoid discussing COVID-19. Children get more worried when you don’t talk about something. Take this opportunity and tell them everything you know about the pandemic. Discuss everything and every day. You must ensure that your child knows everything about the disease- where it started, how it spreads, and why this lockdown in India. Make it a meal-time discussion topic.
- Don’t say too much
While it’s important to discuss this pandemic, giving too much information can be too much for the child to process. Details like how many people have been killed are something your child need not know as this information might scare him. Also, be honest in your answers and answer as many questions as possible.
- Keep your child updated
As soon as you hear new information or news about the disease, tell it to your child so that he stays updated. Give him time to ask new questions. But steer clear of making your child feel spooked or frightened about this pandemic.
- Correct all misinformation
For all you know, your child may have heard a lot about COVID-19 from as many people as possible and most of this information may be untrue to a larget extent. You must help your child with factual information so that they can have the right facts. Ask them how much or what they know about the disease and where did they get all the information from. Ensure you give the right answer and stop your child from going to the internet to get answers as the internet is full of fake or unwanted news.
- Don’t get anxious and make it obvious
These are difficult times and a lot is at stake. A long shutdown might lead to economic and financial issues. There are also talks about the world going into recession causing job losses. It’s enough for anyone to get anxious even at the thought of the world going into recession. You need to stay strong and stop panicking before even discussing COVID-19 with your child.
- Assure your child of help
Children fear very fast. Just one news of a disaster and children think they are going to be the next victims. Talk of coronaVirus and they will think they’ll catch it. You just have to tell your child that they need to follow all precautions and they will not get infected with the virus.
- Focus on safety
There’s a reason the government has locked down the country— to ensure the disease spread is stopped. The government has instructed several safety measures that one needs to follow. Ensure you and your child follow these in order to stay safe.
- Keep talking
We are all busy with work and children are busy with academic and non-academic work. With everything now on a standstill and everyone’s home, it’s time for you to bring that extra zing in your relationship with your child. Spend time talking to your child. Tell him stories, tell him about your past. Build your relationships again.