Children are seeing and hearing an abundance of information about COVID-19 on the television, radio and social media, as well as from other people. Their weekdays, weekends, and school holidays are different to any they have experienced before. It is important that children be supported through what could be a stressful period for them, including reassuring them that being worried and anxious is normal.
Head to Health provides online resources on mental health and COVID-19, including information for parents.
Talking with children about COVID-19 can help them understand and cope with the current situation. The following steps can be used as a tool to have an open discussion with a child about their feelings surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic (for more detailed information, access the Head to Health resource).
Find out what the child knows and address any misconceptions.
Explain COVID-19 in a way the child can understand.
Tune in to the child’s feelings, validate their concerns and don’t forget to highlight the positives and things that are going well (e.g. how well children are adapting).
In addition to children’s psychological safety, it is also important to consider other safety concerns that children may be confronted with, including:
eSafety – children will be online more than ever this year.
o an online safety kit for parents and carers
o an online safety booklet for parents and carers