During this vulnerable time, it's a hard fact that children will interact with other children and siblings during this vulnerable time.
They will touch their face and they will forget to wash their hands. It's difficult for kids not too. There Kids!
Giving children guidance on what they can do to prevent infection gives them a greater sense of control over COVID19 spread and will help to reduce their anxiety.
So it's important to FIRST to explain to children basic facts so they understand WHY this is important to protect themself so they can protect their friends and family too.
Here are kid-friendly ways to TALK, PROCES & EXPLAIN with your Child about the Virus named COVID19.
TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING:
Stay CALM and relay the information as if you are telling them a STORY, it will ease your anxiety and allow them to learn the facts. Children will read your cues, meaning "if you are stressed they will be stressed." So breathe deeply, talk with your children and explain the facts with a K.I.S.S.= Keep It Short & Sweet! We don't want to frighten them, we want to give them the terms they understand. So stay Positive & Light!
#1. FIRST find out what they know: "Have you heard grownups talking about a new illness that's going around?" Listen with connection, not correction. Just stay curious, with a non-judgmental stance.
#2. SECOND ask them how they feel: "How do you feel about this?" If they are concerned, reassure them with phrases such as: "The doctors have said that kids don't seem to get as sick as adults" and "Just as hard as you work at school and I work at my job, there are scientists worldwide working just as hard to find a cure! This will pass."
If they have ALOT OF QUESTIONS???
MAKE A QUESTION BOX HERE
#3. THIRD, give them the facts with a K.I.S.S.= Keep It Short & Sweet! a. "This illness is like a COLD or FLU or is thought to be spread between people who are in close contact with one another—especially when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So it's important to keep a safe distance from kids and adults." b. "It is also thought to be spread when you touch an infected surface or object, which is why it is so important to protect yourself and then you can protect your friends and family too."
c. Ask them: "Would you like to make a "HEALTH STATION STOP!" basket or box for each room with me? (with this sign or name of your choice) to keep everyone healthy?
EACH HEALTH STATION STOP BOX or BASKET includes 4 items:
1. Basket or Box to place items.
2. Big SIGN that reads HEALTH STATION STOP!!!!
3. Stack of TISSUES, toilet paper sheets or napkins.
4. Pre-made spray bottle of NATURALLY MADE HAND SANITIZER. I do not recommend store-bought sanitizers for children they can often be dangerous and ineffective. Learn more HERE.
NATURALLY MADE HAND SANITIZER Recipe courtesy of Emma Eunoia here:
- 6 tbsp high proof vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 30 drops tea tree essential oil
- 2 tbsp aloe vera
- 1/4 teaspoon oil
If your child is ANGRY, SAD or STRESSED. Make any one of these coping skills bags with them:
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND:
The following list is good to practice through modeling, role-playing and pretending what to do when you sneeze or touch your face. Most importantly, have kids explain to their siblings or parents what to do to prevent this illness. When we explain what we've learned to others we learn 95% more!
HERE ARE 8 TOOLS that are ENTICING, FUN, and SUPPORT KIDS IN BEING KIDS!
#1. TO SAY HELLO Do a PEACE SIGN with both HANDS!
#2. TO SAY HELLO Do an ELBOW BUMP!
#3. TO SAY GOODBYE Do a SALUTE with your hand from your FOREHEAD!
#4. If you need to SNEEZE put your head to your ARMPIT.
#4. Anytime you want to touch your face, GRAB A TISSUE go to the HEALTH STATION STOP.
#5. If you do touch your face go to the HEALTH STATION STOP, get the NATURAL SANITIZER SPRAY then spray in hands and massage them CLEAN FOR 20 seconds by singing this 2 times, it's 20 seconds:
Happy Hand-Washing to ME!
Happy Hand-Washing to ME!
Happy Hand-Washing to MEEEE!
Happy Hand-Washing to ME!!!
#6. Keep your hands BUSY with a FIDGET toy.
#7. Put SMELLY LOTION or LAVENDAR OIL on your FINGERTIPS that REMINDs yourself every time you smell it not to touch your face!
I hope these tools and tips help you and your family during this most vulnerable time!
Remember also, to limit the news shows when children are around, they are little sponges, and we don't know what will impact them long term. They need age-appropriate information. AND go out in nature and take nature walks to get some fresh air to rejuvenate your physical and mental health together!
Disclaimer: These tips are not meant to cure or heal the COVID19. They are meant to help manage and support children staying healthy and aware to prevent the spread of the virus.