How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus

By: Life is Good

Talking to kids about a global pandemic isn't the easiest thing to do. Life is Good Kids Foundation Founder & Chief Playmaker, Steve Gross, shares his tips for staying grounded in optimism during these uncertain times

1. Keep it real and be authentic.

Give kids real information, but in a developmentally appropriate way. Avoid big words and overly complicated terms.

2. Reassure, reassure.

Let kids know that this is going to pass and we are going to be okay. Reassure them that there are a lot of adults working hard to keep us safe.

3. Model calm.

Kids pick up on our energy and body language. If we remain calm it'll instill calmness in them, too.

4. Focus on the good.

Encourage kids to focus on the opportunities and goodness that this difficult situation has presented. For example, the opportunity to help or extend compassion towards others.

5. Be interested in your kids.

Instead of just giving information about the virus, find out: what do they know, how do they feel, what are their fears, have they talked about it with friends? This kind of listening is extra important right now.

6. Allow them to be helpers.

Help kids contribute to the home while you're at home together. Give them chores to do, make sure they're checking in on grandparents, or making art to share digitally with loved ones.

7. Provide opportunities to check in.

Don't think of this as a one and done conversation. Continue to ask your kids how they're doing. Keep checking in with them, keeping them informed, and always listening.

8. Make a plan.

Create structure and routine. Make a schedule for the day so they have consistency and stability during this uncertain time.

9. Watch what they watch.

Be careful not to have too much news 24/7. A lot of this content can be scary stuff for kids. This is a time to engage with fun, light content that's going to help comfort them and make them feel better, not aroused and more afraid.

10. Engage in life.

Make time to create, play, read, sing, dance, and be in nature whenever you can.

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