Need To Talk With The Children About The Pandemic? Here’s How
Posted by Strategic Communications, JGI Group on 19 May 2020

About The Pandemic

Need To Talk With The Children About The Pandemic? Here’s How

When a pandemic of a gigantic proportion is fraying the nerves of everyone, parents and teachers face a serious challenge of addressing or communicating the same with the children. Your kids have been hearing and reading a lot about the coronavirus (COVID-19) but you want to make sure that they get only the reliable information from the right sources. It is natural for them to feel anxious and bombard you with a barrage of questions.  The trick here is to remain calm, gather your answers, and convey those gently so that they are confident and at the same time are sensitized about the situation.

Of course with Google, you can find the basic guidelines on how to do what but it is crucial to understand that every family is different and so is each child.  But, before going ahead with educating your child about the ongoing situation, it is important for you as a parent to hold steady to your ground. Many parents believe that the best way to help their children cope well is to sacrifice their own needs for the sake of their children. While being so focused on making sure that you do everything possible for your child to embrace this phase of change, you run yourselves aground. Take care of yourself first because children are much attuned to their parents and the immediate family members who stay with them. Hence, you must be aware of what you convey to them, both verbally and non-verbally.

So how to explain the kids about the virus and various other social distancing measures without freaking them out?

Be Honest:
Keep the conversation simple for the young kids and a bit more detailed for the older kids. It is advised to keep the message positive as possible and make them understand what is happening around the world, and what people are doing to stop this trouble. Starting with the importance of hygiene should give you a favorable head start.

Offer Comfort:
With the grim facts that keep surfacing each day, ensure that they are aware of the seriousness of this disease but at the same time keep them away from the headlines. Check the various official informative website that only spells out up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19. Such websites only have facts regarding the virus and do not flash any news of fatalities and other scary information.

Hear Them Out:
Ask questions; hear out what they know about it already. With social media being just a tap away on everybody’s cell phones, they may have read or seen articles, images that will leave them with several questions. Assure them that they can come to you for any information they would want to know and at the same time talk about what scares them.

Make Them Feel in Control:
Help them understand it’s alright to feel stressed. Knowing that this too shall be over soon and we will all get back to our normal routine. Give them specific things to do, to feel in control like teaching to wash hands, basic hygiene rules, and the importance of nourishing one’s health and mind.

Knowing about your child’s curiosity and understanding helps you figure out the right responses. Maybe instead of hearing the facts, they would want to understand why are we staying confined in our houses, washing hands or greeting friends and family via video calls and why are the adults covering their faces if they step out. There is no doubt that your child will have a certain level of awareness but always remember that you are their attachment figure. And with you being your child’s sense of safety and security, the emphasis is more on how you react and handle the situation than the world events.



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