How to talk to your child about Coronavirus

As our communities are working to understand and process the ever-changing developments of this virus and it’s impact on us all, many families are struggling with how to address these issues with their young children.
I wanted to take an opportunity to provide you all with some basic guidelines and links to utilize with your family.  Preschool and young elementary children are feeling the effects and disappointment associated with the spread of this illness, although are not ready/able to comprehend the disease itself.  As parents and educators it is our role to ease their fears. We need to make sure our children feel safe and recognize their disappointments and how they are affecting their everyday life.
1.Talk to your children. Keep information age appropriate.  Your child may not understand why the birthday party they have been excited about is cancelled or why Grandma and Grandpa can’t come for the planned visit, but their disappointment is real.  Reassure them you understand how they feel and that they can talk to you about it.  Make sure to let them know that we need to help keep everyone healthy and that may mean changing plans a bit.  Children take their emotional cues from us.  Make sure to stay calm and use a reassuring tone.  Talk about ways to help ease the disappointment.  Maybe make an unplanned FaceTime call to grandma or have a picnic lunch party in the living room while watching a movie together.  Help them to focus on an alternate activity. Make sure they know plans will happen, just not now.
2.Reassure anxious children on how they can stay healthy.  Make sure your child understands that it is normal for them or others to get sick.  Talk about ways they can stay healthy and keep others from getting sick.  Show them how to properly wash their hands.  Discuss sneezing or coughing into a tissue or their elbow and not putting their hands or other items in their mouth.  Try to stay away from the words like pandemic, panic, world wide chaos, etc. Limit your child’s tv and social media exposure. 
3.Think out of the box but keep routines.  For many children and adult’s time spent home will be increasing in the coming days and weeks.  Think of fun ways to help pass the time and don’t feel like you have to occupy and play with your child the entire day.  Remember to KEEP ROUTINES.  There is safety and security for children when their daily routines remain the same.  Visit our Pinterest page for activities to try at home,
For more information on how to talk to your children here are some helpful links:
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the school for assistance or questions.  We are happy to help our families where we can during this time of uncertainty.

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