how to talk to your children about coronavirus

Are you struggling to talk to your children about Coronavirus? We have some practical advice on how to have a conversation with your little ones about what is going on.

Timing is important

When you talk to your children pick a time that is calm and relaxed. You know your children best so whether you have 1 or more children, think about if you want to talk to them together or separately so you can adjust your approach and focus on their concerns individually.

Nighttime may not be the best time to open this conversation as this is when little minds tend to wander. Also, when little ones are tired, it may overwhelm them causing a disruption at bedtime. 

Use age appropriate language

We need to think about the language we use to be sure we don’t scare our children. Using child friendly words such as ‘germs can make you a little poorly, which is why we need to wash our hands regularly’ can help with understanding the virus on their terms without the scary stuff. 

Acknowledge what is happening

Explain that everyone is having to stay home at the moment, including all family members, which is why you are unable to see nanny/grandad. Simple explanations such as ‘the park is closed but we can still go for a walk’ is a simple way of explaining why we can’t go somewhere without focusing on the disappointing part. 

Listen and address anxieties 

If your children have concerns, sympathize with them. Whilst it is a good idea to keep a lid on your own anxieties, they may say they feel worried and it’s ok to say you feel like this too. Giving the NHS advice on catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and handwashing for 20 seconds is a great way of giving them some control over their anxieties. 

What can we do

Change the conversation from what we can’t do to what we can do. We can’t go to the park however; we can play in the garden or watch a movie. We can’t see nanny/grandad, but we can make them cards to cheer them up, are great ways of moving from can’t to can. 

No promises

Unfortunately, as we are not able to give our children a timeline on how long this may be for, it may be best to be honest and say that we don’t know how long this will be for but soon things will get back to normal. 

This is new for all of us and we are learning as we go along, so our advice is to keep the conversation open and welcome questions from our children. Staying positive is key and with lots of fun and cuddles for reassurance. 

Baa for now x