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10 tips for talking to children about Coronavirus

It can be difficult to know how best to empower and connect with children and young people in these challenging times.

Our A Million and Me programme aims to support children with their wellbeing and mental health. Young Minds, one of the projects supported through this programme, have shared advice on talking to children about the pandemic. For more information visit the Young Minds website.

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1. Address the news

Try not to shield children from the news, it’s likely they’ll hear things from friends, family or online.

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2. Ask questions

Talk to your children about what’s going on and what they have heard and how they’re feeling.

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3. Try to answer questions

Try to answer questions in an age appropriate manner – you don’t need to know everything but talking helps children feel calm.

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4. Ease their worries

Reassure children it’s unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if anyone should get ill remind them of the support that’s there to help.

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5. Offer practical advice

Show children how to wash their hands properly, how often they should be washing them, and how and why to practice social distancing.

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6. Maintain a sense of routine

Regular routines may be difficult to maintain but try to maintain some structure to your day to keep children feeling safe and stable.

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7. Plan positive activities

Spend time doing activities children enjoy to help them stay calm and reduce anxiety, it’s a great way to share concerns without having a ‘big chat’.

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8. Encourage proactiveness

Ask children to think about the things they can do to make themselves feel safer and less worried.

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9. Stay supportive

Children may need more close contact and feel anxious about separation, try to provide this support wherever possible.

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10. Look after yourself

If you are feeling worried or anxious talk to someone you trust who can listen and support you.

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