These are unsettling times for children and adults alike. As parents we can support our children through this challenging time and help them to feel safe and assured.
Let children talk openly about any fears or worries. Make sure you know the facts and keep information very simple for younger children.
You can reassure your child that even if they did catch the virus, it is unlikely they will get very unwell.
Encouraging young children to express themselves through play or creative activities can help them manage their emotions.
Remind children about the importance of washing hands and keeping physical distance outside the home. Try using dancing or singing so that it’s not a scary conversation and to make it fun and memorable.
Emphasise that these measures are in place to protect vulnerable people in our communities.
Seek out stories about all the ways people are being kind and helpful towards each other and share these with children.
Help them to come up with ideas for how they can support people in their community.
Children are incredibly resilient and with support from you, can feel safe and happy even in difficult times.
It’s important to be selective about where you seek information. Here are some sources you can trust:
UNICEF Australia: www.unicef.org.au/blog
World Health Organisation: www.who.int
The Australian Government: www.health.gov.au
The Australian Parenting Website: https://raisingchildren.net.au
Young children learn from watching and imitating the adults in their lives. It helps children manage their feelings if they see that you are calm and in control.
If your own anxiety levels are high, try to find ways to gain some reassurance by talking to friends, family or trusted members of your community.
A break from watching the nightly news might help. You could try reading news updates online to stay updated and limit the time you spend online.
If you have friends on social media who are sharing frightening or negative information, try muting their posts temporarily.
Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you