Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus

CONTENTS
Talking to kids about the Coronavirus.......... 1
Praying with and for our Kids........................... 1
Instilling a Biblical Worldview........................... 2
Hugs from Jesus...................................................... 2

Talking to Kids about
the Coronavirus
Kids worry more when they're kept in the dark
News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.

Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. “You take on the news and you’re the person who filters the news to your kid,” explains Janine Domingues, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information that is likely more reassuring than whatever they’re hearing from their friends or on the news.

Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.

Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions. Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.

Deal with your own anxiety. “When you’re feeling most anxious or panicked, that isn’t the time to talk to your kids about what’s happening with the coronavirus,” warns Dr. Domingues. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.


Praying with and for our kids
Good communication isn't dependent upon how many words you say, nor upon how impressively you say them. Good communication is a very simple matter of speaking effectively. The key is, keep it simple.
Prayer is two-way communication, not a monologue presented on an earthly platform for a heavenly audience. It is rare to hear someone pray in such a way that allows God an opportunity to say anything. Why not begin your prayer with a word from God—a verse of Scripture from the Psalms or other In other words, let God have the first word.
from: "Praying with & for your kids. The Pocket Guide for Parents".Bordon Books, Bloomington, Minnesota, USA, 2006


Instilling A biblical worldview
Show them how to be students of the Bible
Do your kids know how to study the Bible? Do they know how to find the Greek or Hebrew meaning of a word? Do they know that the places talked about in the Bible are real places? Do they know how to use a concordance or Bible dictionary? (With so many resources online, researching is easier than ever.)
Why not study a verse a day... or a week? Read it. Memorize it. Look up the meaning of the words in their original language. Talk about the context. Who was saying it to whom? Why was he saying it? How can the verse apply to your own life?
Often we read some prewritten devotional that has a verse tagged onto the end. Sometimes we actually look up the verse and sometimes we don't because we're in a hurry. Devotional books are great, but, in addition, kid need to study the Bible itself.
Remember what Paul wrote to Timothy. (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV)
Show your children how to be a student of the Bible, a right handler of the word of truth; a student as interested in finding all the facets of a verse as they are learning stats for their favorite sports team or computer game.
Make the story fascinating. Do it together. Or, choose a verse and have each family member do his own research and then get together and all share what they learned. Making sure, of course, that the final result is biblically accurate.

Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to have milder symptoms.

Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking. Jamie Howard, PhD, a child psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, notes, “Kids feel empowered when they know what to do to keep themselves safe.” We know that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. The CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands as the primary means of staying healthy. So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside, before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts at the CDC say they aren’t necessary for most people. If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.

Stick to routine. “We don’t like uncertainty, so staying rooted in routines and predictability is going to be helpful right now,” advises Dr. Domingues. This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down. Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a spring break or summer vacation. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.

Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more. “Let them know that the lines of communication are going to be open,” says Dr. Domingues. “You can say, ‘Even though we don’t have the answers to everything right now, know that once we know more, mom or dad will let you know, too.’” M
Sometimes I get scared. Everyone has a few things they are afraid of—even your mommy and daddy. Sally was afraid of the dark. Mama used to leave a night-light on in the hall so she wouldn't be afraid at bed time. She was afraid of snakes, too, and sometimes worried that a snake would get into the house and hide under her bed, even though that never happened.
Are you ever afraid? What kinds of things scare you? The Bible tells us what David did when he was afraid. He wrote, "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."
Whenever we are afraid, we can sing David's song [Sing to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round."]
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You,
trust in you, trust in you.
When I am afraid, I will trust in You,
trust in you, trust in you."


Hugs from JESUS
Thank you, Jesus, for being so close to me so I don't have to be afraid. Amen
When I'm Afraid

From: Dillon, Sally D.: Hugs from Jesus. Review and Herald, Hagerstown, MD, USA, 2001
From: Weddle, L.: 10 Ways to Instill a Biblical Worldview in Your Kids. Awana Clubs International, Streamwood. IL, USA,