Article by Khanyi Moshia
It is expected for adults to understand the complexities of the national lockdown extension due to the Coronavirus, but it may not be the same for children as they might be wondering why they have to stay at home and not play with their friends or even go to school. Here’s how you can explain the Coronavirus to your children.
Be honest and open
Children often ask a lot of questions, especially when they’re frustrated. Don’t shy away from having open and honest conversations with them regarding the virus and try to answer their questions as honestly as possible.
Give them the right information
It’s highly possible that your child has an idea of what the virus is, but they can also be exposed to fake news. Make sure you give them the right information by visiting www.sacoronavirus.co.za or send a WhatsApp text to the National Department of Health on 060 012 3456.
It’s okay not to know the answers
If your child happens to ask you a question you aren’t sure of, it’s okay to admit that you don’t know BUT you will find out for them. This is better than giving your child incorrect information as it’s considered as fake news which is a crime during the pandemic.
Children may be bored and frustrated due to not being able to interact with their peers. Try to be understanding and supportive during this time as they may also be scared and confused. Give them a safe space to state how they’re feeling and assure them you’re there for them.
Make hygiene a routine
Children may get agitated with having to wash and sanitize their hands constantly. Explain how important it is to practice hygiene during this the pandemic as it reduces the risk of contracting the virus.
This is a difficult time for many parents, but remember that your children might be feeling the same frustrations as you because they can’t have fun like they normally would. Remember to encourage them to keep their hands clean, and to cough or sneeze on their elbow.