How To Talk To Your Kids About Coronavirus
First, a word about me, and why I'm qualified to give advice on how to communicate with children: I have a masters in mental health counseling and was a registered practitioner in Florida for several years, before getting back into radio full time.
My favorite part of counseling was working with kids.
Here's some easy to follow guidance on how to discuss coronavirus with your young ones.
Children are naturally curious, and they probably want to ask you questions about what they are hearing on TV, from you, their peers, and from other people. Let them know you are available to address their concerns.
First of all and most importantly, answer their questions honestly. Don't lie or avoid the subject. I used to tell the parents I was working with that every lie is a potential dent in their relationship.
Secondly, stay positive in both your words and body language. Don't have a "the world is ending" mentality.
Example: If your kids ask you if people are dying, you can say something along the lines of "Yes, however, most people are recovering from their illness, and thousands of people who were tested don't have the virus."
Assure them that you and they are safe, and that the family is going to follow the coronavirus guidelines for cleanliness and social distance. End your answers with positive, rather than negative responses.
Use words that are age-appropriate. Explain it to them using simple words that are at their level of understanding. Don't use scary words such as "fatal," don't give too much detail, or use medical terms that are beyond their comprehension.
Finally, if you don't know the answer, say you don't know. Don't exaggerate, or repeat a rumor or a conspiracy theory that you heard. Stick to the facts from a reliable source.