Kids are observant. They soak in what’s around them and take their cues from the adults in their lives. In these situations, adults can lead by example in the ways we cope with stress and talk with others about COVID-19.
Parents, family members, and other trusted adults can play an important role to help children make sense of what they see and hear about COVID-19 in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. Let the kitchen table —either real or virtual— be a safe space to have open and reassuring conversations with kids. Here are some ways that you can minimize their stress and ease their worry about COVID-19:
Preparation & presentation
Before talking with kids about COVID-19, remember that children are not little adults. Presentation, tone, and word choice matter.
- Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
- Put restrictions on what and how much kids see or hear on TV, radio, and online.
- Be calm and reassuring.
- Use simple language that does not blame others and lead to stigma.
- Provide honest and accurate information.
- Explain that staying at home prevents disease from spreading
- Use interactive methods like coloring books to explain what a
Talking about COVID-19 with children will probably bring up some questions. Adults can be more reassuring if they are prepared. CDC has published advice to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19. Here is a list of possible questions that a child might have and some suggestions on how to answer them.
To read more of the CDC's Blog Administrator's article, please click here.