320.5 Fourteen things you can do to address coronavirus with your family

When my husband Ben went grocery shopping this weekend, there were empty shelves instead of many things we normally get. Earlier in the day there had been not one but two fistfights in our local grocery store over supplies!

If you’re worrying about interruptions in the supply chain, the stock market, and other factors related to (or attributed to, anyway) coronavirus, you are not alone.

And right off the bat I want to say: we will get through this together.

How we get through this is how we get through any crisis: by not panicking. By staying positive. With LOTS of handwashing. And by helping our family members feel safe.

Today I’m sharing ideas for talking with your kids about coronavirus, as well as the best ideas I’ve learned regarding prevention and containment.
I am a child development expert, not a doctor, so I am linking here to several resources that have excellent information on stuff that is out of my purview, such as: Number of cases; who is most likely to get infected; how can you limit your chances of getting coronavirus; and how can you keep kids from getting it, or the flu.

Read on for 14 ideas to help your family, watch the video above to round out those ideas (and check the bottom of this post for the bonus podcast episode I’m doing; should be out sometime late in the first week of March 2020) – and most of all take heart.

We will get through this, together <3

14 Things you can do to help your family, regarding coronavirus

You can:
1. “Prepare, not panic” as this cool mom picks article says.

2. Read this article from the World Health Organization, “Helping children cope with stress during the [coronavirus] outbreak”

3. Share this wonderful comic by Malaka Gharib with your kids

4. Read this BBC article to understand the spread of coronavirus, and who it impacts most

5. Wash your hands, frequently and correctly (with soap, warm water, and at least 20 seconds’ washing)

6. We have found a product called Cetaphil to be very helpful if there is excessive dryness from all the handwashing

7. Use a product such as Glo Germ Gel as a playful way to understand how germs are spread, and proper handwashing (here is the link🙂

8. Avoid touching your face

9. Help kids learn to wash correctly, and help them avoid touching their own faces

10. Click this link to go to the CDC website coronavirus page

11. Help kids feel safe.
Remember, kids are extremely egocentric and have a difficult time seeing the world from others’ perspectives.
Their first thoughts are going to be “am I safe? Is my family safe?” And we can help them feel safest by not panicking ourselves, but instead being that study presents that they need.

12. Answer their questions.
Addressing their questions in simple language, and then waiting for their next questions, will help them understand and feel safe.

13. “Look to the helpers.” – Mr. Rogers
I love this quote from Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Finding – and being – a helper can make us feel better and safer ourselves. Finding helpers has that same effect on kids.

14. Watch this documentary on Mr. Rogers.
You might notice that the documentary is rated PG-13. Do not disregard this! The documentary is not for children. It explores themes of violence, aggression, and how Mr. Rogers neighborhood helped young children deal with those fears.
That said, it is one of my all-time favorite movies. As a child development expert I often think of myself as walking in Mr. Rogers’ footsteps. I’m so grateful that I have him as a model 🙂

I hope this is helpful as you talk with your kids about coronavirus.


Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/in the Ninja Parenting Community…

Thanks for reading!

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week,

What’s up on the podcast this week:
Kids and technology: what you need to know.

What’s up in the Ninja Parenting Community:
An entire course on how to handle a clingy child… Which I created in response to members’ questions!

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