Talking With Kids About COVID

April 27, 2020

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Anchor lead: What’s the best way to talk with your children about the pandemic? Elizabeth Tracey reports

COVID-19 is a scary disease, perhaps even more so for children, who have witnessed the world transform in short order. Helping parents to support their children during the pandemic starts with frank conversation. That’s according to Rachel Thornton, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins.

Thornton: I’m a proponent of developmentally appropriate, open, honest communication with children. We should give children credit that they’re very insightful in a way that’s consistent with their understanding of the world, so they know things are different than they normally are. If they had a routine, going to school, going to child care, having play dates, they know at this point that that’s not what’s happening. So one place potentially to start is to ask your child what they already understand about why things are different in our daily life these days.  :32

Thornton says providing children with adequate time to express themselves is key, as well as assuring them that they can revisit the issue as needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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