Many children are aware of the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and may pick up on the concerns and anxiety of others.
This could be through listening and watching what is happening at school, at home or online. It is important you speak with your children about their concerns.
What you can do:
- Try and model calmness when talking with your children and family.
- Talk with your children about how they are feeling. Listen and reassure them.
- Talk with your children about COVID‑19. Answer their questions as honestly as possible. This may help to address their fears and reduce anxiety.
- Limit media exposure—frequent exposure to media may increase fear and anxiety.
- Focus on what you are doing as a family to stay safe. Give your children clear information about how to reduce their risk of infection in words they can understand, as this will give them a sense of control.
- Spend time together and keep to routines as much as possible or help create new ones. Make time for playing and relaxing. Have fun together.
- Look out for signs of distress—children may respond to stress in different ways. This may include changes to their sleeping patterns, change to appetite, loss of independence, eg increased clinginess, wanting to be close to adults or an increased in anger, irritability, anxiety and/or fear.
- Try and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Encourage your children to keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or where appropriate, social media.
- Have fun together as a family.
Remember, any decisions or actions you may take is what you have consider best for you and your family. Do what you can, try and be patient with yourself, your family and others, and seek support as needed.
Last edited: 7/4/2020