How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus
There are a lot of great resources on how to talk about Coronavirus/COVID-19 with your children. Here are some of the things I’ve compiled, along with some of our own thoughts on how we can help children during these times.
1. Assessing what your child knows
They have heard many things from many different sources. Talk to them about what they might know: what may be true and what might not be in what they’ve heard. In this age where information is so accessible, try to limit their access to all the information that is out there.
2. Focusing on staying healthy
This can be empowering for children, especially younger children, if they know that they can be part of the solution by keeping healthy themselves. Good hygiene and staying healthy will help everyone, including the older folks around them, stay healthy too. Washing hands is protecting the people around them!
3. Checking your own anxiety
It’s natural to feel anxious at this time. But as you talk to your children, remember that they will look to you to be their peace. It is okay to admit if you are worried but more importantly, it is important to be a non-anxious presence. Remind children that when we worry, we can go to God and ask God for peace.
4. Talking about it age appropriately
Follow their lead and let them ask questions. Here’s a good article to check out about how to talk to children of different ages about it.
5. Being a listening ear
Just like it can be helpful to for us to talk about it, kids need to be able to express what they are thinking and feeling too. By doing this, we model how God hears us too.
6. Calling your family to community
Children (and even adults!) can feel helpless in these situations. Look for ways that you can be a force for good in your community as followers of Jesus. Help an elderly neighbor; encourage and thank your local sanitation and store employees, first responders; pray for those in the community, country and the world. We will get through this if we do this together. Remind children that Christians respond to crisis with love not fear.
7. Praying together
Let your children know that they can bring their sorrows and their fears to God. Praying together can help bring the family together in God’s comfort and remind them that when things feel out of control, God is always watching over us and taking care of us. Praying for others can again help us remember that we can do something about the situation that we are in.