While it is easier to just tell kids to follow and do what is prescribed, they might also need a small discussion about what is really happening so it can be easier for them to follow the preventive actions that we ask them to do.
If this pandemic situation is difficult for adults, it is also the same thing with the kids. Adults already have a clear grasp of what is happening during this pandemic situation and are very well-informed of the complexity of the COVID-19 virus. Whereas, kids might be clueless about the drastic change that has happened in their environment. It may be difficult for them to understand why they are being kept at home and why being too close with their friends could be dangerous.
While it is easier to just tell kids to follow and do what is prescribed, they might also need a small discussion about what is really happening so it can be easier for them to follow the preventive actions that we ask them to do. After doing so, we can give them tips on how to protect themselves from the virus.
Set a time when you and your kids can sit and talk about it, such as at dinner. Ask them about their prior knowledge and encourage them to ask the questions that they may have. Use your kids’ questions as a guide on how to keep the conversation going.
Use facts in a way that they can understand as you listen and answer their questions. Be honest with them if you do not know the answer. Assure them that you’ll help them learn the facts despite a lot of rumors and false information that they may hear. It pays to let them know that you are there if any confusion may arise brought about by the pandemic.
Giving them tips on how to protect themselves from the virus and explaining the reason for it will reinforce your discussion. Be a constant reminder for them to apply these tips.
Your kids understand that keeping their hands clean stops the germs from spreading to other people. Although this might be something that they already know how to do, it is important to check if they are doing it right. Show them the proper hand-washing, if needed. Remind them that when they lather their hands with soap, they have to scrub between their fingers, under their nails and, the backs of their hands as well. Emphasize that they should do this for at least 20 seconds or until the “Birthday Song” is sang from start to end twice.
You should clearly explain to your kids that you are not doing this because you want them to be away from their friends, but because by sharing toys or holding a friend’s hand, the virus can spread from one person to another.
This may make your kids feel sad. You can cheer them up by coordinating with their friends’ parents and schedule a talk on the phone or over video chat. You can also tell them to write letters or postcards and pretend that they are pen pals with their friends.
It may be unusual for your kids to see that all of the people have started wearing masks. Explain to them that wearing a mask does not necessarily mean that a person is sick. A mask is worn so that the person wearing it will not breathe in germs, or if they are sick, they will not spread the germs to others. Also, correct some myths that they may know about wearing a mask. Some kids may think that they will not be able to breathe once they wear a mask. Also, teach them the proper way of wearing a mask.
Explain to your kids that they should always have a handkerchief or a tissue handy. The virus travels through coughs and sneezes, and if they do not cover their nose or mouth, they can transfer germs to other people. Remind them to wash their hands or apply hand sanitizer after coughing or sneezing, and make sure to throw the tissue in the trash bin afterwards.
Support your kids by being there for them and reminding them of the things they should do to protect themselves from COVID-19. Make them feel that they are not alone. Let them understand gradually what is happening in the world today while assuring them that they have someone to talk to when they feel anxious or afraid.
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