top of page

How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus :A guide to nurturing resilience

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

In our ever-present battle against the global pandemic, the topic of COVID-19 permeates our daily lives through conversations, news, and social media. Unavoidably, our children are exposed to discussions about it as well. Shielding them completely from the situation may not be feasible or advisable. Instead, it is essential to approach the topic with caution, providing them with necessary information while minimizing undue worry.

Recent times have brought significant changes for this emotionally vulnerable segment of the population. With school closures and other activities put on hold, children find themselves with ample spare time. As the Spanish proverb wisely states, "The busy man is troubled with but one devil, the idle man by a thousand." Hence, it becomes crucial to carefully plan their time, ensuring engagement in interesting and relaxing pursuits.

Here are some key considerations to enhance your conversations with children about Coronavirus:

  1. Tailor Language to Their Understanding

When discussing Coronavirus with your children, communicate openly and help them grasp the situation. The better they understand it, the more effectively they can cope. Employ language suited to their age and comprehension level. For instance, scientific jargon may not resonate with preschoolers. You need not discuss the virus with very young children who cannot comprehend it fully. Nevertheless, reinforce the importance of good hygiene practices in a natural manner to avoid instilling unnecessary fears. If you sense anxiety, provide reassurance, explaining that being concerned about such situations is normal. Should you encounter questions you cannot answer, take the opportunity to find answers together and teach them how to seek reliable information.

2. Assess Their Existing Knowledge

Before delving into the topic, gauge your child's existing knowledge about Coronavirus. They might already possess sufficient information. If so, refrain from overwhelming them with unnecessary facts. Instead, let them know that they can always ask for additional details when desired.

3. Create an Informal Atmosphere

Choose the right moment to discuss Coronavirus, waiting for cues such as a relevant TV program or something they read online. Ensure your child feels comfortable and free to engage in the conversation without formality.

4. Manage Your Own Anxiety

Your children will take cues from your behavior, not just your words. If you demonstrate excessive worry, they are more likely to feel anxious as well. Avoid making Coronavirus your primary topic of discussion, as magnifying its importance can easily heighten your kids' concerns.

5. Teach Self-Care

Empower your children with knowledge on how to protect themselves and others from the spread of Coronavirus. Teach them proper cough and sneeze etiquette, such as using their upper sleeve or elbow, or covering their mouth and nose with a tissue. Explain the importance of wearing a mask when necessary and emphasize the need to maintain distance from individuals displaying symptoms. Encourage them to ask others if they have any symptoms, promoting open communication. If your children feel unwell, explain that staying home or seeking medical attention is crucial for their safety and the well-being of their friends.

6. Transforming Challenges into Learning Opportunities

Amidst the current crisis, there are valuable life lessons for children to learn. Help them understand the responsibility they bear toward themselves and others. Teach them resilience and responsible behavior, emphasizing that the disruption to their routine is temporary. Encourage empathy and patience, skills they can carry forward even after the pandemic subsides.

7. Guide Them to Trustworthy Sources

Limit the time your children spend online or watching television. Educate them about the unreliability of much information found on the internet. Inform them about reliable sources such as medical professionals and experts. Websites like the World Health Organization and UNICEF can provide accurate and up-to-date information for fact-checking purposes.

The current pandemic presents us with numerous life lessons that we can all learn from. It is also an opportune time to emphasize the importance of respecting individuals who jeopardize their own health to maintain a semblance of normalcy, including medical staff, scientists, shop assistants, service providers, volunteers, and countless others. Together, let us nurture resilience in our children and guide them toward a brighter and healthier future

Click to read the free book Coronavirus Book for children

BrainPop videos to help answer some questions your kids may have about COVID-19

Click to view a multilingual cartoon book about COVID-19

"My Hero is you" book helps kids cope with the pandemic. It is available in over 30 languages here

How did you explain the current COVID-19 crisis to your kids? Please share your thoughts, tips in the comment below to spread the traveler butterfly love! And for more posts like this, don't forget to subscribe

covid19 explained to kids


bottom of page