How to talk to your children about COVID-19
Everyone here at Happy Feet has difficulty understanding what the long-term effects of self-isolation and social distancing will have on one another, and we appreciate how difficult it can be to have these conversations with your kids! The honest truth is that we don’t always have all of the answers – and as a parent, that can be scary sometimes.
To help, we’ve put together a few little nuggets of knowledge from our own Happy Feet parents on how their kids have responded to open and constructive communication.
- If we know one thing about kids, they appreciate being taken seriously and sharing what they know. Ask them about what they think! They probably are catching on pretty quickly that staying inside and away from one another sucks, and they want to know where their friends are. If they’re used to going to school and are staying at home instead, they’re going to think that this is a holiday! How they’re feeling will be a good insight on how to approach the conversation of why. Questions could sound like “How do you like being at home?” “What do your friends think about everything?” – opening an opportunity to reinforce the important stuff.
- Don’t scare them – keep them calm but reinforce the seriousness of the situation. Sure, dragons aren’t flying around the skies, but that doesn’t mean it’s gumdrops and lollipops. It’s important that kids are reminded (as are adults, honestly) that we’re all in this together, and every action we all take is a precaution to keep everyone safe. Same reason you wear a helmet when you get on your bike! Safety is the prevention of crisis, and the more we work together the safer we’ll all be.
- Making a bit of fun around keeping clean – this is the perfect time to reteach and reinforce good hygiene practices! Reward systems can work exceptionally well here – see if you can ‘gamify’ sanitation. This keeps all of our social distancing techniques top of mind – if a fun joke, or a point system can be used to measure and track when we touch our face, or when we wash our hands, or use our elbows, we’ll all have a lot more fun!
There are little beautiful truths in these strange times, and there’s every reason to use this opportunity to both reinforce the basics and keep one another engaged. If you have a great idea, or story about keeping your family up to date or entertained, share it with us here for the chance at a free Happy Feet video!