BEST IDEAS AND BETTER TIPS
Best Tips on Explaining COVID 19 to Kids
You can help your kids feel less anxious about COVID 19
Kids look at you to see how you are reacting. If you're calm and reassuring they're more likely to feel less fearful. It's likely your children will have some knowledge of COVID 19 so openly discussing the strategies you're using to help stay safe may help them feel less vulnerable.
Filter what your kids are hearing. e.g. There's no need to listen to the news where they can hear it. Repeated negative news can make kids feel anxious.
Respond to your children's questions in age appropriate ways. Children need to know how to protect themselves.
Young kids don't necessarily know what germs are. Here's an idea to help.
1. Sprinkle some dessicated coconut on a small plate. Ask your child to press their hand onto the plate. They will notice some of the pieces of coconut will stick. Explain that is what germs do. They stick to the fingers
2. Take them to the bathroom and get them to wash coconut off using the correct hand washing technique to the tune of Happy Birthday x 2 or count slowly to 20
3. Discuss that's how we get rid of germs that can make us sick
You can dispute alarming information they may have come across. For example: On Friday 20th March 2020 there are 700 confirmed cases out of over 24000000 people in Australia. If you can show with real items what that looks like all the better. As at Friday 20th March it is around .00003% of our population. You could illustrate this by comparing something tiny (like the size of a ball) to something large (like a swimming pool)
Helping your kids feel more in control is likely to help. Give them strategies they can use to keep themselves and others safe E.g. hand washing, social distancing, coughing into elbows, etc These strategies are very important for slowing the spread of COVID 19 so please refer to previous page for a more extensive list
To illustrate how coughing or sneezing spreads germs
1. Sprinkle some cornflour on a small plate.
2. Go outside onto your driveway, where it's not going to matter if you make a mess
3. Have your child pretend to cough (uncovered) or sneeze (uncovered) just above the plate
4. Look at how far the cornflour goes. Discuss
CHILDREN CAN SEE FOR THEMSELVES THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING
5. Discuss that's how germs spread.
6. Now repeat the process by coughing into your elbow and discuss the difference it makes to how far the germs go
Can your child tell you why they shouldn't cough into their hands
Maintain an ongoing conversation with your children and respond to their questions as they come up. Ask them what they think is happening. And should the conversation make them feel distressed teach them ways to dispute their worrying thoughts. Try to end conversations about COVID 19 on a positive note
Explain that we always have the power to change how we react to things. If they're becoming anxious you could try a simple distraction technique that can hijack negative thinking. E.g. What three things can you see? What two sounds can you hear? What can you smell?
For more information on practical information and the hand washing techniques doctors use check out the following link
Kids are often egocentric so may benefit from the knowledge COVID 19 usually doesn't affect kids as badly as adults
Inspire hope that this time shall pass. Discuss there is a vaccine being developed and people are working day and night to complete it
Maintain contact with grandparents and extended family via Skype or similar rather than see them in person. And depending upon the age of the children involved similarly encourage catching up with friends online. For young children you could supervise them while they chat to friends.
Where ever possible maintain routines as they help kids feel safe. And if there have been major disruptions to their lives such as the cancelling of school, soccer, birthday parties, etc you may like to introduce some new fun family routines such as playing games, painting or drawing together or playing some outside games in your back yard together
Let your kids think up an idea on how they can create a positive out of social isolation. It could be singing and posting it to friends online, sharing art works or heart felt messages to loved ones. It could even be giving a roll of toilet paper to an elderly neighbour who may have run out
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This website provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. Best Parenting Advice.com does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or with every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this website to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Similarly users of this website are advised to follow any recommendations for seeking professional advice as all information on this site is generic. Best Parenting Advice.com is an independent website and is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.
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