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3 tips on talking to your child about Covid-19

A mother puts on a mask for her daughter before she goes to school.

A mother puts on a mask for her daughter before she goes to school.

Published Aug 18, 2020

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So much has changed and it didn’t take much time for us to experience a crashing wave of the ‘new normal’.

And, all this is new to us adults who are barely able to adapt to what’s going on around the world, but take a second to imagine the impact it is having on children, who are struggling to grasp the situation.

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Covid-19 has disrupted learning and going to school, outdoor activities, meeting up with friends after school and all those extra-curricular activities and sports.

Having to wear a mask and practising social distancing, while having to learn from home – is overwhelming for a developing and active child.

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It is vital to open the door of communication with your child and be as transparent as possible, but in a gentle and positive way. Don’t invite fear to the conversation, instead reassure them with positivity.

According to the child development experts at Flintobox, your child learns a lot by just observing you. Try not to show fear or anxiety when you are talking about Covid-19.

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Here are three tips on how to have a healthy conversation with your child about Covid-19.

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Find out what your child already knows about Covid-19

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They may already know something, as children (especially those in school) would have already heard something within their friend circles or from teachers, watched the news or was privy to an adult conversation.

And with so much fake news and misinformation doing the rounds, and access to the internet, parents need to be aware of what their children have grasped, and thereafter correct any misunderstanding or misleading knowledge.

Have a transparent conversation, and allow them to ask questions if they are unsure about something.

Talk to them about how not everything they consume, whether through television or social media, is actually accurate as some may just be rumours or conspiracy theories.

Be accepting of their feelings and try to understand their fears from a child’s perspective.

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2. Keep it strictly PG and child-friendly

Talk about everything but also be gentle to their hearts. For children younger than 6, ensure your emotions are kept aside, as children at this age cannot think logically, they read emotions. Explain it to them in child-like terms.

For children aged 7 and older, be truthful to them. Provide honest and fact-based information and make sure they consume less internet-based news and information from television.

3. Be a positive and reassuring parent

Reassure your child that everything is going to be okay (even if it looks dull at the moment). Positive thoughts help uplift the mood and add a ray of hope.

Also, teach them not to stereotype, and educate them about measures to prevent spreading germs or contracting the virus.

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