At Abeona, when tough topics come up, we try to be as transparent as possible with the children. If the children have questions, we try to give them the answers as best as we can. This COVID pandemic is no different. Though we are not experts and we don’t have all the answers we thought we’d share some tips that might help at home that we most likely would have used at school.
First things first, don’t be afraid to discuss this topic with your kid(s). I’m sure they have already heard you talking about this or heard it on the TV. You really can’t escape the topic. If they bring it up, just be ready to engage in conversation with them. You should also be in an appropriate state of mind, though. If you are feeling anxious or stressed about the virus, that probably isn’t the right time to have a talk with your child. Take time for yourself first and when you feel calm and ready then have the conversation.
When talking with them, remember that they are just three and four-year-olds. What I mean by this is that you don’t have to stress about giving the information from the jump. Maybe start by listening to your child’s questions.Try answering as honestly and clearly as possible. Break it down for them in a way they understand. For example, explain what a virus is and how to prevent it. Explain that the world is working together to practice prevention so no one else gets sick. If you don’t know the answers to their questions, no problem. Be honest and let them know that you don’t have the answer right now, while reassuring them that you do know being clean and staying home works, and that you are always there for them.
You can also ask your child, what do they know about the virus? What have they heard? What do they think about the situation?
In the end, just know that we are all in this together. We are all bonded by this and we as teachers are also here for support. As the parents and as the teachers, we may not have all the answers BUT we know that by being there and giving support to the children, we can help lessen their stress or anxiety.