There is depressing news about the spread of corona virus infection. Many people are concerned about this, including children. There are some tips for parents about how to talk to their children about this crisis, which parents can try.
There are reports that the corona virus infection is spreading in new areas of the world. Because of this, many people in the world are worried about the dangers of this disease. They also include children. It is obvious that in such difficult times, children stare expectantly towards their parents for advice and help. So, if your children are troubled by this virus infection, how do you talk to them about it?
Give Children Confidence
British family doctor Poonam Krishnan is also the mother of a six-year-old son. Speaking to Radio Scotland, Dr Poonam said, ‘You have to take care of your child. He will have to tell that the Corona virus is the same virus that attacks you due to cough or cold and diarrhea and vomiting. Dr. Poonam believes that parents should talk openly and honestly on this issue with their children. I am also talking to my son about this. Also, I am motivating those parents who are coming to me for treatment.
Children’s psychiatrist Doctor Richard Wolfson believes that how to talk to children on every major issue like corona virus depends on how old they are. Doctor Wolfson says, ‘Younger children, especially children under the age of seven or six years, get annoyed with the discussion on such issues around them, as their parents are also discussing this around them. He further says, ‘This can be very scary for children’. Doctor Wolfson’s advice for young children is, ‘First of all, give assurance to your children. You do not know what is going to happen. But, tell the children that they will be fine. You will be all right. Some people will be sick, but most people will remain healthy.’
What can be Practical Steps?
However, Dr. Wolfson says that you do not know if your child will have an infection. But, you better be optimistic. Do not worry unnecessarily. They also say, ‘Just giving children confidence will not work. You have to empower them. By empowering, Dr. Wolfson means that he has to tell which such steps he should take, so that he can avoid the risks of getting infected. They should also realize that things are in their own hands.
Doctor Wolfson says, ‘We should tell young children that there are some things that they can do by keeping themselves and us healthy. And those things are that you clean your hands regularly. Place a cloth over the mouth while coughing. Et cetera… et cetera… ’
Doctor Poonam Krishnan also agrees with this. She advises, ‘To prevent infection from occurring, children should be regularly taught cleanliness lessons. They should also be educated on how to keep their hands clean.”
Doctor Wolfson says that with this your child will know something that they can do themselves. Not that it would be right to tell them that they should be sitting hand in hand.
By giving this kind of trust and telling the children some rescue tips, they will feel that they too can do something to save themselves and the family from this disease. This is the best way to talk to the children about such dangers.
But, just reminding the children the lesson of good hygiene is not enough to remove their worries. Young children happen to be very inquisitive. They keep asking you questions. They touch things and share food and water with others. Dr Poonam Krishnan says that this means that children are usually a very big means of spreading infection. And we should keep teaching them that these very important lessons right from the beginning.
You can contribute to the safety of the entire community by keeping children informed about effective methods of cleanliness.
Protect Children from Fake News
Doctor Wolfson explains that the biggest means of raising children’s anxiety can be their parents. He says, ‘I definitely believe that young children are often influenced by their parents. And if they see that their parents are worried, upset, and when they hear their parents talking anxiously to their friends, young children often get upset because of that.
Parents should be very careful with their behavior while being around their children. However, what happens in school is beyond their control.
Dr. Woolfson explains that, ‘A lot of things are happening in schools. My three grandchildren are 12, ten and eight years old. And every one of them has told me that I have heard that someone came to our school. Before that he had gone somewhere. And upon coming to school, he was asked to return home. And in this way, this disease has spread to everyone.
This shows how fast such stories spread. In such a situation, it is important that the children be assured to be safe and their concerns should be addressed honestly.
How to Communicate with Teenage Children?
The way to talk to adolescent children about the Corona infection is different as they are less dependent on their parents for the news of the world. Most of the information they get from their friends.
Doctor Woolfson says, ‘Teenagers have their own separate network of information. They depend more on their peers. But, the problem with teenagers is that they are more practical. Saying to a 14-year-old child will not work, that all is well. There is nothing to be upset. Because when you say this to them, they will turn back and say that you do not know anything.
That is why teenagers find it difficult to communicate with children. They do not easily approve everything you say.
However, Dr. Wolfson says, ‘One thing applies to all children, irrespective of their age. Everything depends on how you create an environment for them. You should give such openness to the children, in which they have the freedom to say you everything freely what is playing in their mind.