Provided by Parenting Power
As novel as this particular virus is, dealing with scary news or uncertain situations happens often and we thought you would appreciate a refresher on sharing important details with your family without scaring your kids.
Kids read our emotions
Children are very good at reading our emotions so if news of the virus has got you worried, plan to talk with your kids about it. Otherwise, they may start attributing your mood to something that they have done:
Why is mom worried? Maybe I’ve done something wrong?
Is Dad mad at me? He hasn’t stopped frowning for days.
Share simple, age-appropriate facts that are relevant to your child's day-to-day life
When sharing news with kids, use facts and keep them age-specific.
Kids under 5: Our job right now is to do a great job of cleaning our hands and keeping our hands away from our faces.
Kids 5+: What is your understanding of the situation? Let’s talk about your concerns and make a plan to do what our family can to stay healthy.
Share your feelings and support those of your children
This may feel like a scary time, and we are feeling a bit worried. It’s easy to get scared but we want you to know that we are a team and we know that we can discuss our concerns and figure out a plan to keep our family safe.
If you are scared or worried, you can always talk to us about how you’re feeling. We’ll help you to know how things will work out okay. Don’t be worried about protecting us.
Once you've talked things through, move forward and don't overdose on media
Talking about fears, “what-ifs” and worst-cases can be helpful because kids get those imaginative ideas out of heads, and it's easier to know what they are thinking if they tell you. From there, you and your kids can work together to make plans for those eventualities or rule them out completely. Once you've made a plan, proceed as normal. Keep news broadcasts to a minimum as children have a hard time discerning that one piece of news repeated every 15 minutes isn't 4 bad things happening every hour.
Kid's Help Phone
If you are a young person and are struggling with a problem big or small, please call 1-800-668-6868. We are always available, 24/7/365.
Crisis Line – 403.266.HELP (4357)
This service is free and is offered in over 200 languages.
Hearing Impaired – 403.543.1967
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