It’s normal for children to be concerned about a topic that’s foreign to them. However, sometimes the way the topic is addressed can also cause stress and anxiety for a child. Dr. Jacqueline Sperling, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, recommends providing the right amount of information (just what they absolutely need to know), to be an example of calmness (if your child sees you stressing out it will worry them too), limiting your child’s access to news about the virus and being on alert for your child seeking reassurance about the virus, which might take the form of them asking a lot of questions. For Dr. Sperling’s full blog on talking to kids about COVID-19 visit this link: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-coronavirus-2020030719111.
Here are some other resources for talking to kids about the virus:
- The New York Times: How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus https://parenting.nytimes.com/childrens-health/coronavirus-kids-talk.
- The Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Corona Virus https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/
- The National Association of Psychologists: Talking to Children About COVID-19 https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource
Pre and Lower School:
- NPR: Just for Kids, A Comic Exploring the New Corona Virus https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
- Brainpop: Corona Virus https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/
Middle and Upper School
- The New York Times: Talking to Teens and Tweens About Corona Virus https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/well/family/coronavirus-teenagers-anxiety.html
- The New York Times: 5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Corona Virus https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/well/family/coronavirus-teenagers-anxiety.html