Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, social distancing, virtual morning meetings, friends and playgrounds being off-limits has become the new normal for children. It can be a scary time for parents and for kids. You may be wondering how to support and help children understand what’s happening. Dr. Jennifer Peterson, Pediatrician, shares tips you can use to help your kids cope through this new experience.
How to Support Your Child
- Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
- Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn different ways to cope.
- Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
- Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat well, practice social distancing and good hand washing. Connect with your friends and family members via social media, by phone, write letters, send an email or take pictures and send them.
As caregivers, you are your child’s biggest supporter and advocate. You can make a significant difference in how your child copes through these new experiences. If you have concerns about your child, please feel free to reach out to your medical provider by phone at 701.780.6110 or MyChart.
For additional information on talking with children about Coronavirus Disease, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.