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So much has happened this week with the coronavirus…

While adults are having a hard time with it, the kids are witnessing all this too. They may be scared or confused, and they’re likely very upset that they are missing out on activities and trips and, yes, even going back to school. So, make sure you are communicating with them regularly. There are some things that all children need to know about this situation. As parents, you may need to be reminded of them too. Here are 4 things all parents need to say to their children about the coronavirus:

Children need to know that it is not hopeless

You can say: “Yes, things may be different for a while, but we will be okay.” We don’t want our children and the adults who love them (that’s us) to go into panic state.

Children need to know that they are safe

You can say: “It would make sense that people are scared or you may feel scared, but I want you to know that it is going to be okay. I am right here with you, and we are going to be together. We will figure this out together. There are lots of people who are helping, like doctors and nurses. We want to make good decisions about the best way to take care of ourselves and each other, so all of us will be okay.”

Children need to know that they can trust us to guide them, and they don’t need to worry

You can say: “I’m making sure we have everything we need. There are many people who want to help, and they are giving us lots of good information. You don’t need to worry. I am also going to try and not worry because it won’t help. Let’s you and I come up with some things to do, so we don’t worry.”

Children need to know that difficult times happen, but good things still happen, even in times of crisis

You can say: “I know it’s hard when you can’t see your friends or … [whatever it is they are upset about]. I understand that, but what can we do to make this fun even if we can’t [whatever it is they are upset about]? Can we build a fort of pillows? Can we cook something new we haven’t tried before? When bad things happen, there are some good things too. I know that may sound strange but it’s usually true.”

Most important: We want to show our children how to make it through difficult times and crisis. So, take a deep breath, or take the dog for a walk, or dance around the living room to fun music, and decide to model for your kids how to be okay.