June 2020 Newsletter – Preparing Children and Families for the Return to Care: Talking to Children about COVID-19

Chances are, at some point during this pandemic, you have been confused with all of the information out there about COVID-19.  Recommendations and safety practices change weekly as scientists and health department officials learn more about the virus. If you are confused, you can bet that children are confused as well.  Not only have children’s routines been turned upside down, they are likely overhearing bits and pieces of adult conversations about the pandemic.

Children are probably hearing new vocabulary words, paired with the underlying anxiety family members are expressing related to health and economic concerns.  It is important to talk honestly with children about COVID-19, using words that they can understand. Be prepared to repeat yourself often as children process the information you are sharing. This article discusses why it is important to discuss COVID-19 with young children and natural, child-led ways to do so.

It is a good idea to get in contact with families prior to reopening to find out how they have been talking to their children about COVID-19.  What words and phrases are they using? Share resources with families to help them with these conversations.

Children’s literature can also help start conversations with children about current events.  Here is a list of children’s books recommended by Bank Street College of Education.  For older children, one expert recommends encouraging children to read science fiction and fantasy books as a strategy for developing resilience. Characters in science fiction and fantasy novels often find themselves in situations where they have to survive, and eventually thrive, in extremely challenging conditions.  Sound familiar?

For the main article Preparing Children and Families for the Return to Care, CLICK HERE

For the article Preparing for New Routines and Separation Anxiety, CLICK HERE

For the article Managing Adult Emotions, CLICK HERE

For the article Establishing and Communicating Policies, CLICK HERE