The Coronavirus sounds super scary right now.
Schools are closing, grocery stores are a mad house with everyone buying up supplies in case of a quarantine. It can feel downright scary.
It's all ANYONE can talk about.
But, it's not something you can, or should, hide from your child
Even the youngest of children know something is up.
So how do you talk to your child about the Coronavirus...without freaking them out?
First of all...YOU can't be freaking out.
Your child takes cues from you. Children are very in tuned with thier parent's emotions, and they know when you're worried an anxious.
If you're struggling with NOT freaking out, then make sure you read the next section about staying calm among the chaos.
Once you're calm, it's important to have HONEST conversations with your kids.
Important tips when talking with your kids:
Don't be afraid to discuss it with them.
Your children know that something's going on and not talking about something can actually make kids worry more.
Think about this conversation as an opportunity to explain the facts and set the emotional tone.
Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information that is likely more reassuring than whatever they’re hearing from their friends or on the news.
Be honest, but assurring at the same time.
Your kids need to know the truth, but reassure them at the same time. Don't make it all doom and gloom, add statements about how they are being protected.
Tell them things like...
Be open to questions.
Answer any and all questions your children have.
It's okay to not know the answer to your child's questions. If that happens, tell them you don't know and Google it together.
Tell your child that you're here to talk to them if they have any questions.
As new information comes out about the virus, don't forget to keep your kids in the loop.
Keep informing them and being honest with them about what's going on.
Again, the more they hear from you, the more reassurred they'll feel.
NEW: Resources For Talking To Kids
Brains On Podcast
My kids recently found an episode on the podcast Brains On, that's all about the Coronavirus.
It does an excellent job of talking about the virus and why everyone is worried.
Listening to this podcast with your kids is a great way to get the conversation started and to answer their questions.
Check it out here --> Coronavirus on the Brains On Podcast
Sparkle Stories has just released a whole bunch of great stories and resources to keep kids calm and engaged during this stressful time...for FREE!
They have stories to Inspire Imaginitive Play but also...
Stories about dealing with Fear and Anxiety and Sick Days!
These are a great way to talk to your child about their nervous feelings.
They've also included some fun activities and a free 30 day trial to access all their 1,300 of their audio stories.
Check it out here --> Sparkle Stories Stuck At Home
BrainPop is a well-known service that many teachers use in their classrooms..my kids know them well.
Well, BrainPop has put together and entire lesson plan about the Coronavirus just for kids.
It's fun, engaging, and full of some great information!
Go here to see it ---> Coronavirus on BrainPop
Your kids are home...and there's a pandemic...cool.
Can you say chaos!?
At some point during these next few weeks or months, you're going to feel some big emotions.
I can almost guarentee it.
You might get angry at your children because of the cabin fever and that they're always around.
You might get stressed and upset about the virus itself or worrying that you won't have enough food and supplies to last.
My guess is that at some point you're going to lose your chili.
So, I'm giving you three of my best resources to help you stay calm and cool among this crazy time.
You can find those below.
Two Challenges For You
As you go into this time, I have two challenges for you.
There's one thing that I know that doesn't help with worries and anxiety.
That's checking the news and researching ALL.THE.THINGS
My first challenge for you, is to only check the news 1-2 times a day.
When you keep checking and checking, it adds stress and worry.
Get off Facebook and turn off the TV.
Use this time to connect with your family and enjoy these moments you have with them.
You have two choices here.
You can choose to be upset and frustrated at this situation,
...or you can choose to see this as an opportunity to reconnect and enjoy the time off with your kids.
You can't do anything about the fact that they're out of school, but you can choose how to react to it.
My second challenge to you is to check your mindset and to see this as an opportunity, not a burdon.
But what if your kids are upset?
They can feel anxious and nervous about all of this.
The might be upset about missing concerts, practices, and friends.
This is hard on us ALL.
When your kids get upset, remember to be there for them. Practice empathy and understanding.
They don't need solutions and al the answers.
What they need are shoulders to cry on and open ears to talk to.
Be their safe place.
That's the best thing you can do for them.
During this hard time, I'm giving you free access to 2 of my parenting workshops and a free copy of my best selling handbook.
So...your kids are home for a while huh?
Wondering what to do with them since you can't really take them out into large crowds for a fun day out?
I thought I'd help you out here.
I asked a few of my favorite kid activity bloggers to share with you some of their best kid activites for FREE.
Pretty cool, huh?
Check these out...
And while you're on their blogs, go exploring. They all have a ton of great activites...I just pulled out a few of my favorites.
Your kids are home from school.
So let's keep them learning AND having fun at the same time.
Start off with this amazing resource from a blogger friend of mine. --> How to Suddenly Homeschool
Then look into these companies reaching out to help by giving away their products and services for FREE to help keep children learning.
I LOVE Raddish. We've been using this service with my 9year old son for several months. Because of Raddish, he cooks dinner for our family once a week.
Raddish a cooking club that sends out themed recipie kits to kids once a month. The recipies are excellent!
Raddish is giving away a kit for FREE...plus 8 digital recipies and 6 activities.
All you have to do is click here to get your kit --> Free Raddish Kit.
NEW! Virtual Tours
Some of the most amazing museums in the world are opening up their doors, virtually, for kids to come in and look around.
Your kids can visit Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, and Washington D.C. Museums all from the comfort of their own homes.
Check out the list here --> Virtual Museums.
Cincinnati Zoo is hosting free Facebook lives every day in March introducing a new animal to kids each day.
Find their page here --> Cincinnati Zoo
Yellowstone National Park has virtual tours of their main attractions available to anyone who'd like to learn about the park.
Check it out here --> Yellowstone National Park
NASA - Space
Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover! Seriously...
Check it out here --> Access Mars
This Virtual Field Trip is excellent because it's not just a tour, they also interview the Park Rangers and talk in depth about the history of Ellis Island.
Head here to watch --> Ellis Island Virtual Field Trip
FREE Interent and WIFI
Spectrum is giving away free high-speed internet for 60 days to families in need while children are out of school.
The offer begins Monday (March 16th).
Those interested in enrolling are asked to call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
NEW: 45+ Free Educational Websites for Kids
Here's a great list of educational websites for kids that are always free.
Check it out here --> Free Websites for Kids
NEW: Scholastic Daily Challenges
Scholastic is offering 20 days of fun vidoes, books, and activities for kids for FREE.
Each day has a different theme to keep kids entertained and learning.
Find it here --> Scholastic Learn At Home