Real Talk – How to Talk with Kids about the Virus

I feel like I’m in a futuristic virus movie at the moment – with hysteria building around me.

This afternoon I took my kids to get their hair cut at a friend’s place and I walked into her house to discover her dining table covered with cans of food.  I asked if she was about to cook for the school.  She informed me it was in case she ran out. 

Everywhere I go I’m hearing people go into panic – and this afternoon my daughter said the school might be shut down, which is what sent me into panic!

And I guess the question is, how do we talk to our kids about the virus – because you can bet if they’re in school – they know about it.  My daughter’s classroom now has hand sanitiser for the kids to use every time they enter the classroom and her teacher has told her why.

So yes, we probably need to have a discussion sooner rather than later about the virus with our children, but we don’t need to buy into the hysteria.

What Kids need to know

The facts

I find the best way to deal with hysteria is to know the facts.

Start by asking what they’ve heard about the virus and then tell them the facts. The corona virus is virus which is making a lot of people sick. Doctors think most people will be ok, especially kids, but some people might get pretty sick. Most people who have gotten the virus have NOT gotten sick. Children don’t seem to get very sick, and the adults who get it OFTEN get better.

Focus on staying safe.

An important way to reassure kids is to emphasis the safety precautions we’re using. Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.  They can regularly wash and sanitise their hands.  Remind your child the best thing we can do is eat loads of healthy food and drink loads of fresh juices to keep our immune systems strong.

ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION

Ask if they have any questions and keep the communication open whenever they want to talk.  I think its a lot better when the facts are coming from you.  So keep the communication flowing and regularly check, asking open ended questions.

kEEP KIDS AWAY FROM THE NEWS

Stay away from news outlets. They thrive on hysteria. Remember a big saying at news outlets is ‘if it bleeds it leads’ so news is often flooded with disturbing images – I don’t let my kids see the news. I don’t think there’s any point. I can tell them any important information.

Real Food

Remember: THE best defence for our immune systems is consuming REAL food.  Plenty of fresh juices and foods loaded with vitamin C.  So, shift the focus to staying healthy.  If you’re buying up food, remember you can freeze fruit and veggies into put into batches.  

If you have any comments please leave them below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about how to talk to kids about the Virus.

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