How to talk to students and young people about Coronavirus

0
333

News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. “You take on the news and you’re the person who filters the news to your kid,” explains Janine Domingues, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information that is likely more reassuring than whatever they’re hearing from their friends or on the news.
  • Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.
  • Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions. Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.
  • Deal with your own anxiety. “When you’re feeling most anxious or panicked, that isn’t the time to talk to your kids about what’s happening with the coronavirus,” warns Dr.Domingues. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
  • Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to have milder symptoms.
  • Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking. Jamie Howard, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, notes, “Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.” We know that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. The CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands as the primary means of staying healthy. So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts at the CDC say they aren’t necessary for most people. If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.
  • Stick to a routine. “We don’t like uncertainty, so staying rooted in routines and predictability is going to be helpful right now,” advises Dr.Domingues. This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down. Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a spring break or summer vacation. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
  • Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more. “Let them know that the lines of communication are going to be open,” says Dr.Domingues. “You can say, ‘Even though we don’t have the answers to everything right now, know that once we know more, mom or dad will let you know, too.’”

Source: view article

Enter Your School👇

Full Biography of Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Speaker of 8th Parliament
Alban Bagbin

The former Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo and a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Alban Kingsford Sumana Read more

Akufo-Addo’s 20th Address on Updates to Fight COVID-19 [Full Text]

Fellow Ghanaians, good evening. Let me thank you, yet again, for welcoming me into your homes – this being the Read more

“Be Calm” – Electoral Commission Asks Ghanaians To Be Calm Ahead Of Releasing Final Presidential Results

The Electoral Commission has promised Ghanaians that it will in no time declare the final results of the 2020 presidential Read more

“Aspire to High Academic Laurels”- Professor Mike Oquaye to Students

Prof. Oquaye was speaking to winners of the Oratory Debate organized by DeeDee Global, a group that organizes debates and Read more

UBA Ghana Officially Launches 2020 National Essay Competition (UBANEC)

The United Bank for Africa (Ghana) has launched the seventh edition of the UBA National Essay Competition. The UBA Foundation Read more

Citizen Kwarteng writes: The Sad Tales of Private Schools and Their Workers in Ghana!

My wife is a Private school teacher. Since schools were closed on 16th March 20202, they have only been paid Read more

Jonas Nyabor writes: Ghanaian Engineers Racing to Build the Country’s First Low-cost Ventilators

The sun was almost setting over the beautiful campus of Academic City College in Accra when I visited the school’s Read more

Airways Buzz News Letter Launched in Accra

A group of children of the University of Ghana Airways Residence, Kissieman, have birthed a journal named Airways Buzz News Read more

Be Bold and Report Gender-Related Violence – Adolescent Girls urged

The  Director of Social Welfare and Community Development at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Lawyer Marian Mensah has urged girls Read more

Official: GhanaWeb Issues Apology for Defamation of Reputation to Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School (PRESEC-LEGON)

GhanaWeb would like to apologize to the Odade3 Association of the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School Legon (PRESEC-LEGON) and management of Read more

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.