1. Be calm and reassuring
Children react to what you say and how you say it. They will notice if you sound calm or if you sound worried, both when talking to them and talking with others.
2. Make time to listen and to talk
Let them know you have time to listen to their questions and fears.
3. Don’t make assumptions about people who have COVID19
Help children understand that when people get sick it’s not because they did something bad, or because they are a part of a particular race or ethnic group.
4. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online
Limit the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information can cause stress.
5. Provide information that is honest and accurate
Give children information that is true and appropriate for their age. Explain to them that some things they hear may not be true.
6. Assure children that grownups are working hard to keep them safe
Make sure children know that adults are working hard to keep people from getting sick and help sick people get better. Children can help by following healthy habits.
What does this look like in action? Click here to read how one parent talked about this tough subject with their children.
These tips were adapted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a government agency responsible for keeping people in the USA safe and healthy.