Dr. Amy Stark
Child Psychologist, Author & Speaker
Teaching Families How to Live Divorced
and Self-Esteem for Girls and Boys
Food For Thought
Talking to Your Kids About Coronavirus
Most kids in my practice know all about the virus, but are taken aback with the cancellation of parties, sports, and school. This can feel overwhelming to parents, too. Here are several ways parents can help their children keep calm and carry on in this new reality.
· Acknowledge your children’s disappointment and validate their feelings. Tell them everyone is disappointed, but health is the most important thing. Be honest. Tell them “we are all pulling back on everything to stop this virus from spreading and that means all of us have to do our part.”
· Talk to your children about this being historic. Something like this has not happened in our country for a very long time. If they’re old enough to write about their thoughts, suggest they keep a journal to remember all the things that are happening that never happened before.
· Portray this as something we will all get through together. Talk about the whole country working together to get this virus under control.
· Be calm yourself. With all the things we now have to change, tell your kids we are all just taking this day by day and we will do the best we can. They can help by doing online school and being positive.
Create some sort of daily plan. Kids thrive on structure. Give them a plan for each day for how their time should be used.
· Try to limit gaming time to a few hours a day. Have your kids try to focus on reading and doing online school for the rest of their time.
· How about science experiments? I recommend “The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science” by Sean Connolly, which has good household science in it.
· Weather permitting, have your kids go outside. They can play around the yard, make their own obstacle course, run some soccer drills, or play relay races.
· What about crafts? Make a family theme song. Post a positive video.
· Make a scavenger hunt in the house.
· Start a game night.
· Read a book together as a family.
· Create some fun moments viewing old movies together.
Plan some events for the future that they can look forward to and talk about how they can celebrate things in the future. Make a family poster with all the events you will do after the virus has passed.
This time of coronavirus may be hard for children to understand. It’s a parent’s opportunity to create some golden moments.
Dr. Stark's Web site is not intended to take the place of a court-ordered advice or the advice of another professional. Although you may use the input found here to your best advantage, we recommend that you do so in conjunction with the work that you are doing with your individual therapist. Remember: this Web site is not therapy; it's knowledge and support.
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