Sarah Shares: Talking to children about COVID-19
Earlier this week, the Greene Towne Parents’ Association had the pleasure of learning from Greene Towne’s consulting school psychologist Dr. Lisa Dissinger, when she shared best practices around managing our children’s stress and anxiety (Stay tuned—we will soon be sharing video of her talk!) One of the main points she made was being aware as adults that we are our children’s most influential model. They are learning from our actions all the time.
That has been especially helpful to remember, as we learn more each day about the novel coronavirus. It is natural that children may have questions about what they are hearing from adults about the virus and its spread. Just as with any difficult topic, when speaking with young children it is important to listen carefully to the specific questions they are asking, so that you can meet them where they are, calmly, with factual information, and not, for example, introduce information that they may not even be aware of. Help them to know that adults at home and at school are working hard to keep them safe, and that there are things they can do to help, like washing their hands and guarding their cough or sneeze.
For more guidance on talking about the coronavirus with children, see this resource from the National Association of School Psychologists. As always, feel free to reach out to discuss further or if you have questions.