How to discuss about COVID with Kids? Top 10 Tips
I understand that it seems like we are stuck in time and movement is becoming difficult day by day in this COVID crisis. Just think how confused your kids would be? It is important to understand how to discuss about COVID with your kids.
I propose to be direct and truthful when discussing about COVID with your kids. It would make life easier for you if your kids are well-informed about the facts.
Moreover, it would help you keep them safe when they willingly follow safety measures. The only way to do it is by making them aware of the current scenario.
I understand your skepticism. You are wondering if it is the right time to inform them about the pandemic.
How would this affect them? How would they react? Is this discussion appropriate for their age?
I am a mother to a wonderful 5-year-old boy and heeding his inquisitiveness about the disturbed routine was rather painful.
After considerable thought, I decided to bring it all out in the open (even though I was not sure how he would react to it).
Trust me – all that panicking and indecision of whether to discuss COVID with him was actually not required.
To my surprise, he took it more maturely than I would have expected (I know, a 5 year old responding maturely, would be the last thing one could anticipate).
Actually, kids have much more understanding than we give them credit for!
I do take a little bit of credit for it because of the way I handled the situation (not to forget, his never-ending questions).
Nevertheless, I am happy that he is now aware of the entire COVID scenario and this has helped to form a great daily routine for him.
Believe me! It’s easier than you think.
This article covers 10 incredible pointers that will help you discuss about this COVID situation with your children.
How to Discuss About COVID with Your Kids – 10 Incredible Tips
Afraid? Not Sure? Don’t really know how and when to start? Get answers to all your question by perusing the section below.
Discuss about COVID with kids – How to start?
Start the conversation or discussion about COVID when your child is relaxed. Choose the time when they are neither hungry nor busy playing. A hungry or bouncy child would not listen attentively, so you need to choose the time wisely.
Try to have a comforting discussion so your kids become participative. Do not make a big deal of this situation!
Chances are, that they have already added the term ‘COVID’ to their vocabulary by listening to others. It is better to ask them what they already know about the situation.
It is important to correct them if they have been misinformed or if they had comprehended the facts incorrectly.
Kids (after a certain age) are very attentive and are already aware of the major changes in the lifestyle.
They observe mommy and daddy staying at home all the time and that there are no more party days, dinner outings, or wearing masks all the time when going outside.
You can start the conversation by asking what changes they have seen lately in family routine and if they have any questions about it.
Be a Good Listener
Kids have different ways of expressing themselves and they stop sharing when you stop caring. As a parent, it is important that you listen to them with proper attention.
Let them speak freely and encourage them to participate. They will have questions when you start explaining about the COVID situation, so, you need to listen to them attentively.
I found this part very interesting when I started discussing about COVID with my child.
There were things he already knew and I was surprised to know where and how he learned it? Terminologies like lock-down and curfew were already in his vocabulary.
Discuss about COVID and tell them the truth
Kids are naïve and would believe almost anything you tell them. It would be wise to inform them of the truth and facts about COVID, rather than creating any monster stories.
Sooner or later they would learn about trust. It would be best if they learn from their parents. The amount of information you disclose should be age-appropriate, which they should be able to comprehend.
Just remember – the purpose of this discussion is to keep them safe and also to prepare them for the future and not to terrify them!
Educate them about the pandemic
You must explain to them how the COVID virus spreads. This part of the discussion should also include how they can keep safe.
Steps like washing hands properly, using face masks, sanitizing, social distancing, etc. must be discussed.
This would also help you to calm them when they become stubborn about going to parks or malls.
Looking at the brighter side
You might observe your kids getting frightened when you discuss about COVID with your kids.
Tell them that there is a brighter side to it. You get to spend more time with your family. There are many fun things you can do together at home.
Reassuring them that their parents are always there to take care of them and keep them safe is also important.
Keeping it a secret would do more harm than good
I know that many parents decide to keep their kids (especially the young ones) away from reality, thinking that they are protecting them.
I disprove this thought as I believe it would do more harm than good. Of course, creating ghost stories would help you keep them quiet or in control for a while but in long term, it would be ineffective.
In my experience, it became a lot easier to keep my little one calm after I told him the truth. He became more understanding about why not to go to a park or a mall.
Importance of maintaining routine
You might have observed that when this pandemic started, your child’s behavioral pattern also changed. Their personal routine and even the routine of their parents is important to them.
One of the best practices is to maintain a proper routine for them. Keeping a fixed time for bed and for waking up, study time, playtime, lunch and dinner time, etc. would be a good start. Try to include all the necessary activities in your child’s daily routine.
Of course, they do not comprehend the time system at a young age, but they do react well to a proper routine.
Another thing to remember is that kids observe you (parents) a lot. If you do not maintain a proper routine yourself, then you might find it difficult to explain to your kids, why they should follow the routine.
Poor habits like sleeping late, skipping meals, no physical activity, etc. create a very bad impression on your children. It would be best if you make a proper plan for your daily routine first before you set your child’s routine.
If you want to discuss about COVID with kids then be prepared to answer their questions
After discussion with kids about the COVID, you need to give them space to digest the information and not force much upon them.
Encourage them to clear their doubts or ask any questions. You need to understand their mental predicament while answering their questions.
They will have a question once you explain to them about COVID and also about safety measures. Try to answer them as accurately and clearly as you can.
You must answer them in a way that they can understand.
Sometimes their question would also reflect their state of mind. You need to determine if they are afraid or scared and then respond accordingly.
Reassuring them that you are there for them. Make them feel safe and comfortable.
Be a Good role model to your kids
If you make a big fuss about COVID, so will your kids. Be a good role model and teach them not to panic.
The best way to handle the present scenario is by keeping yourself happy and healthy. You can only teach your kids about it by following it properly.
When you maintain healthy habits and a proper routine, your child would follow your lead.
Keeping a positive atmosphere at home is also an important thing to remember. Your child would feel safer when there is happiness at home. It is reassuring to them that everything is fine and it would also help you raise a happy child.
The Show must go on
Life is not the same as we knew it in early 2020. Things have changed. Financial pressure along with psychological and physical issues have cropped up. But this is not where everything should end.
For now, it just means that we need to change the way we do things unlike how we did before.
Start by talking to your kids and feed positivity in your homes.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about ‘how to discuss about COVID with your kids’. Do share your personal experiences of how you dealt with this situation, in the comments section below.