Talking to Children About Coronavirus
News about coronavirus is everywhere. Children and teens are absorbing information from a variety of sources—from television and social media to what they hear from their peers. Parents may be wondering how to explain the pandemic in a way that makes sense to their children, reassures them about their own safety, and won’t make their children more worried than they already are.
To help parents navigate this new challenge, we’ve gathered a number of resources to help parents talk to teens and children about coronavirus. Keep reading for helpful tips from trusted sources like ZERO TO THREE, the National Child Traumatic Stress Institute, and the Child Mind Institute on how to offer developmentally appropriate answers to your child’s most pressing questions.
- “Why are people wearing masks? Why are people covering their faces?” This article made available by the early childhood experts at renowned advocacy organization ZERO to THREE is a great resource for parents who need to answer their toddler’s questions about hygiene, safety, and keeping themselves healthy in the current climate.
- In “Talking to kids about the coronavirus,” experts at Child Mind Institute offer advice for parents who might be struggling with their own anxious feelings while helping a child understand what’s happening.
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), posted on the National Child Traumatic Stress Institute website, is a step-by-step roadmap to help families prepare themselves for an infectious outbreak.
- For parents of elementary-age children, “How to talk with your kids about coronavirus,” available at PBSKids.org,focuses on ways to gently correct misinformation they might hear on the playground while helping kids feel empowered to help themselves and their family members stay safe.