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How Do You Talk to Your Children About the Coronavirus?

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I'm sure you have heard update after update about the Coronavirus. It has been something that I am following and up until yesterday I wasn't too worried. Is it starting to worry you? I am very concerned that we aren't doing enough to help protect the NHS and to flatten the curve. People are more concerned with stock piling loo roll, pasta and swiping calpol off the shelves than staying at home. 


We braved the supermarket this week and it was absolute carnage and we couldn't even get most of our regular shop as most shelves were completely empty. As I loaded my half shop onto the till I stood there and watched so many people frantic and rushing around with their overloaded trolleys. I just couldn't believe how selfish people have become during such uncertain times. I understand that it is a confusing time and no one really knows what to do for the best, but watching people fighting through the crowds for rice, pasta or a tin beans was hard to watch.

I even walked past a man with boxes of pasta in his trolley, nothing else just pasta. At least one of those packet could have fed a family of five. Did that man think about those families that are struggling to get some of their regular shop, or even consider that not everyone can afford to stock pile or perhaps donating some to a food bank. No of course he didn't he was thinking about himself showing pure greed, ignorance and selfishness when he did his food shop today. However, thankfully a member of staff told him he wasn't allowed to purchase all that pasta and they were limiting the amount per customer.


We are all scared and confused about the times ahead, there is no need to for all this greed and selfishness that we are showing towards one another. Most of our emotions are fuelled by anxiety and uncertainty about the times ahead. But we need to remember to stop panic buying and show support. What lessons are we teaching our children? We are in this together, we need to think about those people who are vulnerable or about those who don't have the luxury of jumping into the car to several shops to get what they need. It has been awful seeing so many people being greedy, walking by those in need. Explaining that to a five year old isn't so easy.

So how do you talk to your children about something as scary like the coronavirus? I have always thought as a parent it is important to be open and honest with your children, and that is still the case even during these uncertain times. Our daughter knows that something was happening and she could sense that we were becoming more worried, so we agreed to be open and honest with her. But how do you talk to your children about the coronavirus?

DON'T BE AFRAID

By now most children would have heard about the coronavirus either from their school or teachers, seen the news or they may have seen people wearing face masks in public. It's only natural for children to ask questions so don't be afraid to talk to your children and keep them informed as much as you can. Try ease their feelings of concern and worry as things continue to develop with information that is correct and within government guidelines. I have opinions of course along with so many others but I prefer to base my opinions on statistics and information from reputable sources where they have all followed guidelines advised.

NOTHING IS STRAIGHTFORWARD

Nothing is straightforward and no one has all the answers. I'm not entirely sure what will happened in the coming days but I'm sure we will see more announcements from the government, retailers and experts outlining the best course of action in a bid to contain and delay the coronavirus. In the UK we have already stopped large gatherings, shut the schools, pubs, clubs and leisure centres. The Government are still encouraging everyone to stay at home or work from home if possible to help protect the NHS and to save lives. Legislation to help protect businesses will hopefully be passed through parliament to prevent many of them collapsing and they are even developing a job retention scheme. We all need to do our bit in a bid to flatten the curve and to stop this coronavirus from spreading further. 

DEAL WITH YOUR OWN ANXIETY

It’s natural to be concerned about what may happen if your workplace closes, your children have to stay home, or you have to self-quarantine. Even though these possibilities are scary, being proactive can help ease some of your anxiety. It's important to be kind to yourself and be as clear minded as you can before talking to your children. I know that I am feeling more anxious than normal and I am finding myself glued to the news or checking for updates about any developments. This is no way to live and it's not really going to help ease my feelings. 

The best way for to deal with those emotion is to try and alter my focus away from the news, slightly. As we are having to home school our daughter we have been planning for lessons that are within her term topics and the curriculum.


STAY CALM AND REASSURE

Be calm and reassure your children about the facts. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronvirus actually is and that children actually seem to have milder symptoms. So, reminding children that by staying at home is the best way to stay safe in these uncertain times and the importance of hand washing is paramount. 

STICK TO SOME FORM OF ROUTINE

As you know, schools in the UK have been closed to those who are not key workers so keeping some kind of routine is really helpful right now. Keeping structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes is pretty essential in keeping children happy and healthy. We start our mornings with a PE session with Joe Wicks to help kick start our days, followed by a couple of lessons based on my daughter's term curriculum. We have found a balance and adapted to our new normal. 

PRIORITISE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Support your immune system as best as you can by eating well, getting eight hours of sleep, exercising, alleviate stress and take supplements to flood your body with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The unexpected silver lining of extra time at home with your families is an opportunity to set new healthy habits that we may have let slip through our busy schedules. 

PROTECT YOUR MINDSET

Good mental health and positive wellbeing can help you better cope with the coronavirus threat and the uncertainty it’s creating. Limit yourself to reading information only from official sources or reliable national sources. Try to avoid excessive exposure to media coverage as constant monitoring of news updates can intensify feelings of worry and distress.

Talking to your child about the coronavirus is really important but it isn't something that you should be scared to do. Yes these times are confusing and full of uncertainty but we all need to remember that we are all in this together. I completely understand that it can be easy to feel panicked about those things that are out of our control. It is important to focus on the things you CAN control instead and stay informed using reliable sources. Please show kindness and be supportive to others that are in need.
11 comments on "How Do You Talk to Your Children About the Coronavirus?"
  1. Your tips are great. My two are kind of opposite ends of not necessarily needing an explanation. My teen is 15 and sees it all over the news and net and my 2 year old obviously has no idea. I do talk to my teen about it though as and when it comes up on TV. I try to reassure her, which is not easy to do when everything seems so uncertain. #KCACOLS

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  2. Great post. The hoarders have really done my head in. What a bunch of selfish jerks. I think here the hoarders have finally filled up every nook and cranny cos other than toilet paper, everything seems to be back in stock and the rationing seems to be off most things. Seriously - when are they ever going to eat it all???? What jerks. Stay safe and this all will pass. Look at countries that are doing it right and there's hope we can copy them (our figures in Oz are low but I suspect it's cos we don't test broadly enough - I'm presuming our blow out will appear out of nowhere). My tip is do what you can do and focus just on the present. No what if's. Just each day as it comes...#KCACOLS

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  3. So much is mind over matter right now. Difficult times for everyone. We've never known a global situation like this before and it is scary. #KCACOLS

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  4. currently it is so hard to deal with issues about daily life and talking to our children about why things are not the way they were is hard as well. Thanks for the tips come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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  5. Love these tips! Dealing with your own anxiety first is SO important. #KCACOLS

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  6. Thank you for the lovely pieces of advice. I hope you are keeping safe and well #KCACOLS

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  7. Thank you for the lovely pieces of advice. I hope you are keeping safe and well #KCACOLS

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  8. Some great tips here. Sad to hear about your nightmare supermarket trip at the start. But thankfully those days seem to be behind us now. Most of my anxiety at the start was about whether we would be able to get the essentials. We are stronger than we think. #KCACOLS

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  9. All good tips here. Its a trying time for all and I think its important to remember that our kids are picking up on a lot more than we probable think they are. Seeing all those empty shelves is pretty surreal #KCACOLS

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  10. My teenage girls were better once school closed as there was so much talk about it, at least at home we can control the release of news and are gradually watching a lot less. Now there is no daily rushing around or days out we are all feeling a lot more relaxed. #KCACOLS

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  11. Fantastic post. I am a little fortunate that my son is too young to have any understanding of what of happening outside as that is not a conversation I want to have. Such a tough time for children who can not fully comprehend why they are being kept away from friends and family and it is so important to explain it clearly to them.
    #KCACOLS

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