On a global scale, our society is in the midst of a serious medical situation. The coronavirus has single handedly disrupted almost every aspect of life for the time being. Restaurants and businesses have been forced to close their doors, the worldwide economy is suffering and individuals are living in a state of fear and uncertainty.
While people of all ages are certainly affected by this pandemic, the toll this issue may be taking on our children needs to be addressed. Children are inherently influenced by the adults in their lives; therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we take caution in how we are relaying information to them.
In this article, we will discuss a few key points regarding effective communication to the children experiencing the effects of the coronavirus. It is important to consider that, just like the adult population, even though a child may not be physically infected with this illness, the psychological ramifications are all too real.
Much like any other major change in a child’s way of life, most of the fear lies in the unknown. Considering that children are much less able to use the web, news outlets or reliable health information regarding the current pandemic, this population is more susceptible to being left in the dark about what is actually going on. When you are talking with your children about this issue, present the topic in a factual way that simplifies the subject.
While there is probably not much benefit in detailing the exact mechanism behind the coronavirus, filling them on the basics can go a long way. The worst thing you can do is lie to them and downplay the notion that there is a health crisis at hand.
Your children are probably more intuitive than you think, no doubt noticing the state of anxiety and fear of people all around them. Telling them nothing is wrong will only add to the confusion as they are told contradicting information everywhere else.
Explain Pre-Cautions In A Practical Way
Besides the fear of the unknown, not knowing how to do anything about it is the second biggest source of fear with a situation like the coronavirus. After you have allowed your child to understand the issue, talk them through the important steps to remain as safe as possible.
This information does not need to be creative or unique, simply talk them through the same steps that you are taking yourself. Basic concepts of hand washing, avoiding large groups of people and limiting exposure to possible sources of the virus are all things that can be conveyed to a child. To clarify the importance of these precautions, explain to them the general ways the virus can spread from person to person.
Set The Right Example
It goes without saying that, aside from the current pandemic, children look to adults when deciding how to react to a situation. With that being said, make sure you are setting the right example pertaining to how you deal with this situation. It does very little good to explain to a child how to protect themselves from the coronavirus and how they should feel about the issue if they observe you doing the complete opposite.
Although we are in a relatively uncertain and worrisome time period, never forget that the younger population is looking to you for guidance. Be sure that you are leading by example, not only in reference to the topic at hand, but in general.
It is up to you to stay informed on the latest news and appropriate precautions to take during this situation and relay it to your children through not only the things you say, but by the actions you take.