Talking with your children about COVID-19
March 13, 2020
Dear SAA Parents,
There is so much to ponder and consider in light of the current health crisis with the coronavirus. I would like to offer only a few key suggestions to keep in mind when you are wading through the available information and facing your children with their many questions.
I believe that you will know what to do. It’s the feelings we aren’t so sure about. So, here are three key suggestions to support you in the decisions you are making.
These are in order of importance:
Most of what your children will feel about the current life circumstances will reflect your emotions about COVID-19. Know what you are feeling and how to best deal with your concerns and fears. Nothing is certain, so going to the worst case scenario is not helpful. Staying as factual and calm as possible allows you to communicate your confidence in what you and those around you are doing. Everyone is doing everything possible to handle the situations wisely. And this is true.
LISTEN to feelings, questions and concerns. When children, and usually adults as well, are expressing emotions, the thing to do above all else is to listen. There is usually no “fix” to prevent an emotional response or make the emotions go away. Compassion is your best response when anyone is upset. Compassion is acceptance without judgment. Understanding and reassurance are next best responses.
The last, but not least, is to maintain as much of a regular routine as possible. Structure and predictability are calming to both children and adults.
SAA has set up a helpful webpage to serve as a hub for COVID-19 information and updates. Here you will find a link to information to help with our children offered by The National Association of School Psychologists and The National Association of School Nurses. Click here to view that document.
I am available at any time for you to contact with questions or concerns. My cell number is 210-602-7552.
Together we will get through the struggles presented.