Talking to Children about
the Coronavirus

This can be a very unsettling time for children so it’s good to have open and honest conversations about what is happening. Your child may be worried about what they may have seen or heard and look to you for comfort so it’s a good idea to start the conversation to reassure them, so they can talk to you if they have any concerns.

Here are our top tips for managing these conversations:

  1. You know your child best so decide what level of detail you want to go into when talking about the current environment. You may start by asking them what they know or their thoughts and take it from there.
  2. Older children have more access to information so may already be exposed to a lot about the coronavirus. Help them limit their exposure to the news and also only use reliable sources such as the Government website or the NHS.
  3. Find a time to talk when your child is comfortable and in the mood. You may even choose to do something together and talk while you’re playing.
  4. Try and answer all their questions and reassure them that it’s natural to feel the way they do but this will pass. Children look up to their adults so try and maintain a positive and comforting outlook.
  5. Remind your child about how they can look after themselves. For example, how to wash your hands effectively. Think of a way to know how much time it should take, for example it may be a verse of their favourite song.
  6. Keep to a regular daily routine. This helps to keep things stable with some normality but also helps with planning a variety of activities from skill building to play.
  7. Schedule a daily activity with your child to make this time fun for them so they have lovely memories to look back on rather than just negative ones. Besides you won’t get this time again so make the most of it.

You may also find the following links helpful:-

‘Children’s Guide to Coronavirus’ by the Children’s Commissioner for England. The guide aims to answer children’s questions about coronavirus, how to stay safe and how to help them make the best of their time at home. Click here or visit their website: www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk

Looking after your child’s or young persons mental health by Every Mind Matters click here.