Handling the Covid-19 pandemic can be difficult for adults but, your children may also be experiencing anxiety. Experts say you can ease those fears by talking to them.
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If you have children, you've probably been fielding questions from them about what's going on. Dr. Anna Torrens Armstrong, a health education expert with USF, says now is the time to have a conversation.
“The important part is we provide our children with accurate and age appropriate information," Armstrong said.
Teenagers are the most savvy and already have access to a lot of information. Armstrong suggests guiding them to credible sources to explain the science behind Covid-19, such as this website by the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa.
Charter Communications has temporarily opened its live stream free to the public. You can watch Spectrum News via our live stream on your desktop or laptop without a subscription by visiting our website and clicking “Watch Live” in the upper right. Charter also is temporarily offering free broadband and wifi access for 60 days to families with K-12 or college students. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. The company also will open more than half a million wifi hotspots across the country.
However, while your teen may be able to comprehend the facts, Armstrong said there is still one aspect of the pandemic that could take a toll.
“Really right now their social world has been turned upside down," Armstrong said. "Some of them aren’t going to be able to walk at graduation and that’s really disappointing to them.”
Armstrong recommends expressing empathy and also finding ways for teens to still connect socially, such as on FaceTime or Zoom.
When it comes to middle and elementary school aged kids, Armstrong said to go over the basics, letting them ask the questions. She also said to emphasize prevention measures.
“With that age group in particular, they’re not at the age where hygiene is super important to them," said Armstrong. So remind them why it’s important.”
For even young children, Armstrong said to keep it even simpler. For example, when your three-year-old asks about seeing friends or going to the playground, talk about germs and hand washing. Also keep in mind their routine has been interrupted, so don't get too stressed when they act out.
“Right now nothing is going to be as perfect as perfect as it typically might be or as smooth. And that’s OK," said Armstrong. "Sometimes they just need a hug. Even the big ones.”