Mental Health

How to talk with kids about COVID-19

March 27, 2020

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The spread of the coronavirus is an uncertain time for all of us. For help in talking with your children, the Child Life and Art Therapy experts from Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel offered guidance.

Remain calm

  • Stay calm in the way you talk and act: The calmer we are, the calmer they are.
  • Reassure children they are safe and cared for
  • Tell them it is normal to feel stressed in these times


Give them chances to talk and listen

  • Check in with children to see how they are doing emotionally
  • Encourage open communication between you and the child
  • Use open-ended questions to engage conversations ⁠— children often have big feelings but limited words to express them
  • Be honest and suggest an opportunity to learn together, if you are asked a question you do not know the answer to


Help children feel in control

  • Keep as much of a routine as possible to help things feel predictable and give kids a sense of control
  • Provide them with choices on daily activities when you can
  • Assign simple tasks around the house⁠ — doing dishes, picking up their room, helping with pets or cooking


For more on helping kids cope, download:

How to talk to your kids about COVID-19

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