A good prompt for parents who are being asked questions or overhearing conversations regarding COVID-19 is, ‘Fact or Fiction’ or ‘Fact or Prediction’. Address the questions that have been asked – rather than assuming fear and worry. For example ‘What are you worried about?’, What have you heard about Coronavirus?’
- Worry about getting sick is normal. We all want to be well and have healthy bodies.
- Explore understanding. Asking your child what they know already, which then allows for correcting misinformation. Second, ask them to share what they are worried about.
- Empower by sharing what they can do – You can help by keeping your hands clean, get lots of sleep, eat nutritious food (to make your body strong), going to the doctor if you’re sick, and reminding your friends of the truth if they are worried.
- Combating worry by working together to be scientists. Scientists look at all the facts before making a decision. Scientists are very good at thinking “is this a fact/truth or is this a prediction?”. A prediction is something that may or may not happen.
- What are the facts about coronavirus:
- No student or staff member has coronavirus
- I am healthy. My family is healthy. My friends are healthy.
- All sick people are getting tests to make sure they are well enough to return to school
- Our school has good hygiene – we wash our hands regularly
- Most people who get sick get better quickly. We only ask them not to come to school so they don’t spread the germs.
- Hospitals and Doctors know how to treat people who get sick. Scientists are working on making a vaccine (we take medicine so we reduce our chances of getting sick).
- When people get scared they can have big reactions – for example, buy things they don’t need. It can be helpful to remind ourselves that person is doing something because they are ‘scared’ not because of a ‘truth’.
We encourage families and students to brainstorm a list of activities they may like to do to keep busy. Allocate an activity a day even if you don’t ‘feel’ like doing it. It is an opportunity to try new things and participate as a family.