How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19

It's important for our everyone to be informed about the current health crisis, but we understand that this complex issue can be difficult to explain to kids. Below are some helpful resources for kids to learn about COVID-19 and how they can play a part in stopping the spread.

Explaining COVID-19 to Kids

Use this video to help explain the importance and impact of COVID-1 9to young kids, with a little help from our friend Big Bird.

Talking to Your Children about the Coronavirus (4-minute video; en español) [Child Mind Institute]

Create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the 3 R’s: Reassurance, Routines, and Regulation.First, adults should reassure children about their safety and the safety of loved ones, and tell them that it is adults’ job to ensure their safety. Second, adults should maintain routines to provide children with a sense of safety and predictability (e.g., regular bedtimes and meals, daily schedules for learning and play). And third, adults should support children’s development of regulation. When children are stressed, their bodies respond by activating their stress response systems. To help them manage these reactions, it is important to both validate their feelings (e.g., “I know that this might feel scary or overwhelming”) and encourage them to engage in activities that help them self-regulate (e.g., exercise, deep breathing, mindfulness or meditation activities, regular routines for sleeping and eating). In addition, it is essential to both children’s emotional and physical well-being to ensure that families can meet their basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, clothing).

Increase children’s self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is the sense of having agency or control—an especially important trait during times of fear and uncertainty. Children often feel more in control when they can play an active role in helping themselves, their families, and their communities. For example, children can help by following safety guidelines (e.g., washing their hands), preparing for home confinement (e.g., helping to cook and freeze food), or volunteering in the community (e.g., writing letters or creating art for older adults or sick friends).

Additional Links

COVID-19 social story.pdf
COVID-19 social story 2.pdf
COVID-19 speaking with children.pdf
Spanish COVID-19 social story 2.pdf
Spanish COVID-19 speaking with children.pdf
talking-about-covid-19-memo-3-26-2020.pdf

Social Emotional Resources