During the summer I use our Pinewoodblog.com to communicate with families and share helpful resources. Over the next few weeks while our school is shut down I will be posting often. On week days I will try to share interesting and fun learning resources to keep your kids engaged. Today I wanted to share some resources that are helpful when talking to your children about the Coronavirus and the school shut down.
Here are a couple of short articles that I would recommend:
Guidelines From The American Academy of Pediatrics
Helpful Guidelines when Talking to Your Children About Crisis
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with. (adapted from healthychildren.org)
- Start by asking your child what they have heard, what they know or what they feel
- Young children need brief and simple information that should be balanced with reassurance. Assure your child that it is your job to keep them safe. Try to avoid oversharing adult information with young children.
- Middle school / High school students will likely want and benefit from additional information. Focus on facts despite social media rumblings.
- When children ask questions about things that they have heard, return to giving children the facts. It’s okay to say “we will know more information about that later and I will make sure to tell you exactly what you need to know”. Return to reassurance about safety.
- Validate your child’s feelings. It is likely that children will feel a sense of fear or anxiety. Start with listening to your child’s feelings, name the feeling for them if they don’t have the words (ex: “it seems like you feel afraid because things feel out of control right now; it’s normal to feel afraid when things feel out of control”).
- Give kids strategies
-Grounding – when your thoughts start racing, grounding brings you back to the here and now
-Take 10 deep belly breaths
-Talk to a trusted adult
-Do something that I like to do (coloring, read books, take a walk, play games together as a family, journal, play with playdoh, crafts)