This is an extremely confusing time for everyone right now, especially for our kids, and there’s absolutely no doubt that this will ultimately lead them to asking questions we as parents may find difficult to answer, so below we have listed the five main question your children may ask and how you can answer them best to help them understand exactly what’s happening:
Will I get sick? Will my parents get sick? What will happen if we do?
It’s extremely important not to minimise your child’s fears with this question and tell them that no one in your family will get sick, because the fact of the matter of it is, you might, but it’s also important to reassure your kids that if anyone does get sick you’re all going to do everything you can to make sure that everyone gets better. You could also tell them that our doctors and nurses are working really hard to get anyone affected by the illness better, and make medicine to stop people from getting poorly from the illness in the future.
Why do I have to wash my hands so much?
This particular question may be a bit difficult to answer for younger children, but for the slightly older kids who can understand, it’s fine to let them know that its important to wash your hands regularly to get rid of the bad germs that might make us poorly.
When can I go back to school?
After schools were closed last Friday, many kids were probably initially really excited about not going back for the foreseeable, but that will soon wear off when they realise it is really for the foreseeable, they will soon ask when they can go back. At this point, we need to reassure them that you are keeping in contact with their school about when they can go back, because both school and parents want to make sure that when they are allowed back, everyone stays healthy.
Why can’t I see my friends or grandparents?
For adults and kids alike, it’s understandable sad that we’re unable to see friends and family at the moment. The hard reality is looking at a year to 18 months of social distancing. To help kids cope with this, we need to show them the positives that we can stay in contact over the phone, FaceTime and even writing letters. It might also be worth saying that the safer we are, the sooner we can see all the people we want to.
How long will this last for, and when can we go back to normal?
Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to this question, as were in unknown and unprecedented times, but we all need to keep in mind that it’s not going to be forever, and it will all go back to normal at some point, so rather than telling them that this will be over soon, it might be a good idea to get them to write a list of things they want to do when it is all over so that you can all look forward to and help get you through the difficult times ahead and stay positive.