How to properly talk to children about COVID-19
15 Jul 2021 by Khánh Phạm
The situation of the COVID-19 epidemic in the 4th wave of epidemics across our country is very tense and complicated, with a higher number of infections and deaths than before, and many cases where the source of infection cannot be traced, as well as the speed of infection. The spread is increasing, there have been many infected F4, F5 cases, and importantly, there are many outbreaks, the chain of transmission cannot be considered to be completely controlled. Many provinces and cities continue to implement social distancing according to directives 15 and 16 of the Prime Minister, asking people to strictly follow the 5K rule of the Ministry of Health, this is considered a key solution to help promote social distancing. disease repulsion.
The children therefore, in the current context, have to continue to stay at home during the summer without being led by their fathers and mothers to entertainment venues. It is difficult for us to hide or not let our children know about the news that is spreading so much about COVID-19 not only on TV, but also on the Internet platform. The overwhelming information is mostly confusing and confusing, especially the negative and untrue information that makes the children more worried and stressed.
Because they are too young, they still don’t know how to perceive problems and regulate emotions like adults, so if we are indifferent and do not care about their condition, the results will be in a bad direction.
Talking openly with children in the right way is the solution for parents, the purpose is to support their children to understand and receive accurate information about COVID-19, remove unnecessary worries, know how to protect yourself, your family, and help others.
Let’s learn and save the recommendations of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and CDC Vietnam.
First let your child know that you are open to all his questions
Find out what children already know and listen to their stories.
Drawing, telling a story, or some other activity can help start a conversation.
Do not understate or avoid the child’s concerns. Empathize with your child’s feelings and agree that it’s completely normal to be afraid of these things.
Use age-appropriate language, observe reactions, and pay attention to their anxiety levels.
Provide children with truthful information that is appropriate for their age and developmental level.
Ask your child to find out information through official sources if parents do not know the exact answer. Explain to your child that some information online is inaccurate, and that it is best to trust information provided by experts.
Instruct children to follow the 5K principle with the first basic tasks of wearing a mask, washing hands properly and often.
It is not necessary to tell children scary stories.
Show your children how to cover their mouths with their elbows when coughing or sneezing, and advise them not to have close contact with people who have these symptoms.
Help your child cope with emotional crises and anxiety by allowing them to play or relax when possible.
Try to keep your daily routine and routine as normal, especially before bed.
If an outbreak occurs in the area where the family lives, remind them that the chances of them getting infected are very low and that there are many other adults doing their best to protect their family.
If the child is not feeling well, the parents need to explain that the child must stay at home/hospital, as it is safer for themselves and their friends.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to many racist/regional consequences. So check to see if your child is being bullied or is bullying another child.
Explain to children that being infected with COVID-19 has nothing to do with a person’s appearance, background, or language. If your child is called out with disparaging names or is bullied at school, don’t be afraid to talk to them and report this to an adult they trust.
Remind your child that everyone has a right to safety and that bullying is wrong. We should do our part to spread love and support for each other
Children need to know that people are helping each other by acts of kindness and generosity.
Please share stories about people who are working to prevent the disease and protect the safety of the community. This will be a great source of encouragement and reassurance for children.
It’s up to you to stay calm and show your child that you’re always smiling. Your kids will react to the news the way you do, so it’s best to keep yourself calm and in control.
At the end of the conversation, try to gauge his anxiety level by observing his body language, seeing if he’s using a normal tone of voice, and monitoring his breathing.
Remind children that they can look to their parents to share their difficulties and problems at any time. Let children know that parents always care, listen, and are always there when children need it