We transition to a distance learning format through online instruction.
Closing our school building and shifting to online learning is meant to protect our school community and part of a larger effort by many schools and organizations to protect all of us from COVID-19. When we all join together we maximize our efforts at stopping the virus from spreading.
An Astronaut reading a book (3 parts) from actual space! https://storytimefromspace.com
Free visits to museums:
Talking to your child about the Coronavirus
Before we get to the important topic above…how are you?
We have received many articles, links, and even pediatric newsletters – all of them helpful – on how to talk with our kids about COVID-19. At the bottom of this letter you’ll find suggestions and links that might be of assistance, but first …
… first consider how you are feeling:
- How is news of the virus impacting you?
- How are you dealing with the changes to your life?
- Do you have all the support you need?
There’s a reason why so many of us are looking for guidance on how to talk to our kids about the virus. We, ourselves, are feeling off-balance. Just as our kids do, we thrive on routine and knowing what’s coming next. Things feel uncertain right now and our kids can pick up on our worries about what’s happening in the world.
As parents, we may need help with understanding how to talk about this with children in a way that is open and reassuring — and we offer you the following suggested information and articles that, to me, strike that very important balance.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here.
From Child Mind Institute:
- Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone.
- Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.
- Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions.
- Deal with your own anxiety. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
- Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is and that kids actually seem to have milder symptoms.
- Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking. We know that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. The CDC recommends thoroughly washing your hands as the primary means of staying healthy. So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside, before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts at the CDC say they aren’t necessary for most people. If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.
- Stick to routine. Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a spring break or summer vacation. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
- Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more. “Let them know that the lines of communication are going to be open,” says Dr. Domingues. “You can say, ‘Even though we don’t have the answers to everything right now, know that once we know more, mom or dad will let you know, too.’”