Look for Information From Official Sources
To adequately inform your child and solve all his doubts, you must do it first.
It is advisable to go to official sources and look for information contrasted by experts, such as the
World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health,
the health departments of the autonomous communities, professional health associations, etc.
Ask Your Children What they Know About the Corona Virus
You may be surprised, but children know quite a bit.
In schools for several weeks, they insist on how to wash their hands correctly before and after going out to the patio,
to the dining room, in training sessions, and they control that this is done.
They remind them to cough by covering their mouth with their elbow.
Also, they have been separated one by one in Primary, and with the Infant,
they take care that they often drink from plastic cups, for example, in reinforced containment areas.
They even know that if they are over 37ºC, they should stay home and call the health services in case they should be quarantined.
Still, ask them about what they know, their doubts and fears related to the virus.
“Minors need to know and understand what is happening, and we cannot isolate them from news or information,”
according to the guide to talk about the corona virus to children, prepared by the Barcelona Crisis and Conflict Unit
(UTCCB) at the University Autonomous of Barcelona (UAB).
And do not wait for them to ask to discuss it with them, as advised by the Official College of Psychology of Madrid,
through the Section of Clinical Psychology, Health, and Psychotherapy, in its guidelines for parents, professionals,
and relatives with children from 4 to 10 years old.
“Children are not miniature adults, but they have a series of psychological, evolutionary, and emotional characteristics.
Adults must know, to understand them, and that they can also understand us, offering them adequately and adapted information.
At earlier ages, the idea is more abstract and requires a simpler adaptation.
From the age of 10, they understand more complex concepts, without the need to make adaptations as concrete as in this
evolutionary stage”, they recognize from this organism.
How do I explain it to my son?
Find out what they know about COVID-19 and clarify their doubts with a language adapted to their age.
Help yourself with these resources and follow the advice given by the experts if their schools have closed.
In recent weeks, they have not heard another topic at all hours on TV,
among their favorite YouTubers, at school, in our conversions, with their friends and with curiosity,
they even look about it in newspapers, magazines, and the Internet.
For children, corona virus is a word they know just about. Or not?
We tell you some expert recommendations to make SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19,
known to your young children. Also, we give you some tips to cope with the days
when the little ones must stay at home because their school has closed,
as it already happens in Madrid, La Rioja, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, and Murcia.
Doubts And Correction
Above all, do not ignore their fears or doubts, always talk to them transmitting calm and security, and do not forget to tell
them that they can trust you because if you do not have the answer, assure them that you can search for it together.
But be honest and realistic: SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that spreads quickly, and we must protect ourselves from it.
Corona Virus And Talk With Children
First, stay calm and manage your stress.
Watch your conversations because children listen to us and perceive our fear.
Promote meeting spaces for communication, where your
children feel safe and calm to express, listen, and ask questions.
Children Anxiety Signals
As the American Academy of Pediatrics says, children don’t always know how to express themselves in words when they’re worried.
They may become fussy or irritable, more attached, have trouble sleeping, or appear distracted.
Try to reassure them and continue with their regular daily routine.
Talk generally about the corona virus and the disease it produces,
but without saturating them with too much information and avoiding referring to people who are very ill or have died.
In this sense, the Official College of Psychology (COP) of Alva recommends
“keep up with them and answer what they ask,
without overloading them with information if they don’t ask
for it; regulate the flow of information and not give them more than necessary.”
Use language adapted to the child’s age and knowledge.
But, yes, without lengthy explanations.
If we are not clear, they will resort to fanciful arguments to compensate for the lack of information.
Use drawings or simple graphical representations to explain how contagion occurs.
You can lean on this free downloadable that already work in some schools.
Be careful what you see on the Internet and social networks! Try not to surf the Web alone looking for inappropriate information about COVID-19.
And pay attention to what follows on social networks, keep in mind that the information that runs through them is usually superficial, incomplete, or erroneous.
As parents, we must protect them from anything that may cause them discomfort and concern because they may not interpret it well.
Even if it is small, if your child already uses TikTok, recommend that he follow the WHO account (@who).
It gives security about the state of health of the adults in its environment, such as neighbors, uncles, and especially grandparents, but without lying to them; they know how to protect themselves and take care of themselves.
And if until now they were seen and hugged frequently, but visits have been suspended with the pandemic, it promotes virtual contacts by video calls or video conferences.
An idea that your children will surely like: write down on a blackboard in the home fridge the times they would want to hug them and “collect” them once this situation is over.
Telling My Son About Corona Virus
Of course, review with them the most common symptoms of COVID-19: fever, cough, and feeling of shortness of breath.
Don’t forget to tell them the positive: most cases recover (80%).
But be realistic: the elderly are the ones who should take the most care of this virus.
Also, give them security and confidence by informing them that many health professionals are working to cure the sick,
understand the virus, reduce its risks, and find a vaccine.
“Now everyone is working to prevent others from contracting the disease,” recommends the Barcelona Crisis
and Conflict Unit as a mental hook to mitigate unnecessary fears and concerns in minors.
as they propose at the UTCCB, to talk to them about basic hygiene, the body itself, and its functioning, in addition to death.
And, above all, it affects prevention measures.
Psychologists from Madrid propose giving them control, the “superpower” to protect themselves and others.
Wash your hands with soap while making up a song about the virus,
say a multiplication table, or count from 20 to 0 backward, rubbing vigorously on the surface and sides.
In this EROSKI Consumer info-graphic, you will see it more clearly.
When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your flexed elbow or with a disposable tissue that we throw away.
It is like a magic karate key to protect us against harmful viruses.
Batman already does it with his cape. This song about cough and elbow is in fashion.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. And put it as a game in which whoever loses a point.
Avoid physical contact with other children or other people, even if you feel like playing or touching them.
Tell them it will only be for a short time, that very soon we will be able to hug our friends again.
Always let him know that he can count on an adult if he is not physically well, or there is something that worries him.
And as a parent, remember that we are your best example.
Therefore, take care of the way you relate to other people, avoiding behaviors of rejection or discrimination. .
And it is that our fear can make us misbehave, rejecting, or discriminating against certain people.
Tips For Parents And Children Staying Home
Many children in Spain no longer go to school or extracurricular classes or sports training as a precautionary measure against corona virus infections.
Those who must accompany them at home these days, whether they are grandparents, parents with teleworking,
sick leave, or other family members, these are some recommendations suggested by professionals from the
Official College of Psychology of Madrid.
Of course, few screens and in parks maximize hygiene and prevention measures.
- Maintain the usual family schedules and habits. It should be avoided that this situation alters the order, structure, and security that routines give children.
- Promote time for free play, sports, body movement. It is even positive to leave time for boredom.
- Seek a habit of schedules, tasks, and responsibilities based on your age. There must be daily time for reading, homework, or intellectual stimulation.
- Differentiate between the hours and routines of a weekday during those of the weekend.
- Take advantage of this situation to spend more time on enjoyment and leisure with the family.
- Find the best way to reconcile work and family life by organizing the schedules with the other parent, family, or other supports, if any.
Stay and Stay Safe From Corona.