Costco in Pflugerville on Friday, March 13th at 11:30AM.
When I first heard about the Coronavirus, I thought it was a joke about beer. Then after reading up on it, I kept wondering why it was all one word (I’m a little surprised that our English Teachers haven’t taken to the streets). Now this flu is called Covid-19 and this past Friday, the panic had begun. It was a few hours yet before a national emergency was announced by the White House, but when I went to pick up my prescription at the Costco Pharmacy in Pflugerville, I jokingly asked the cashier in the Pharmacy if all of those people standing in line with their carts were waiting to grab toilet paper. “No, to check out.” What?!? All the registers were open and the line had gone to the very back of the store and then wrapped around to the front again.
Everyone has a different take on Covid-19. Some teenagers are happy that they’ve been given an extra week of spring break. Some are scared about elderly parents contracting the flu. Some see this by the numbers and are waiting for things to settle down. Based on what I’ve seen though, a lot of people are scared and our children deserve not to be, so this week’s blog is how to talk to your child about Covid-19 in a way that they understand while not scaring them unnecessarily.
The sources I found online are incredibly helpful (links at the end). Here’s what the experts say and I agree with:
#1: First find out what your child ALREADY knows (or thinks they know) so you can correct misinformation while informing as little as necessary
Explain that it’s a germ that makes people feel sick if they get it (remind them of a time they were sick with a cold). If they ask about people they see wearing masks, just tell them that it’s to protect the person wearing it from getting sicker. Don’t embellish. Use short and sweet sentences. Like the new modern decorating style, less is more.
#2: Make them feel safe and in control
Remind them that they can help others and themselves from getting sick from any illness by washing their hands and sneezing or coughing into their shoulder. If they ask how people are getting sick from Covid-19, tell them that germs can spread when someone coughs into their hand and then touches something that others touch, like a doorknob, just before itching their nose. Remind them that washing their hands like they do at Sunrise already, such as before eating or after going to the bathroom, helps prevent others from getting sick AND protects them from getting sick. If they use a tissue, make sure they know to throw it away and not set it down anywhere. These are all things within their control and that control will help them feel safe and protected.
#3: What’s most important is your child seeing that you are not anxious
This action, more than anything else, is what will keep them from becoming scared. Children have VERY active imaginations and if given no data will freely make up things to fit what they are seeing and feeling. If you need to speak to another adult about the virus, do so out of ear shot. If your child asks you a hard question, like “Will Grandma die if she gets it?”, then answer honestly AND calmly. “No, I don’t think she will. Grandma is healthy.” I sent out an email on this statistic on Friday, but I think it bears repeating: Out of all the children we know about around the world who have contracted Covid-19, not one has died from it. Not even one. Think about that number when speaking with your child. You can also give them a hug. Speaking from experience, hugs from our child are therapeutic.
All of us here at Sunrise Montessori are washing our hands constantly, sanitizing more than required, and practicing the safeguards recommended by the CDC and the State of Texas to keep everyone as healthy as possible. We also are taking care in how we help our students feel safe emotionally. Working together and with time, we will be able to go back to thinking of Corona as something to be enjoyed on a hot summer’s day. Just don’t forget the lime.
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!