How to talk to kids about the novel coronavirus without scaring them

As people stockpile groceries and schools across the country temporarily close, children may feel anxious about the novel coronavirus pandemic and what it means for them and their family.

The fear and uncertainty around COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is stressful for many adults and can be especially anxiety-provoking for children.

“Kids speak energy long before they speak words, which means that kids are picking up on the adults’ energy around all of this,” said Vanessa Lapointe, a B.C.-based registered psychologist and parenting educator.

“It is upon us as adults to clean up our energy, our thoughts and our actions in order to communicate the belief that we have got this.”

How to talk to kids about the novel coronavirus

Before you talk to your kids about the realities of the novel coronavirus, it’s important that you educate yourself first, said Cassie Brownell, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Reading reliable sources of information, like government websites, is key to combating misinformation and correcting any misconceptions kids may have, Brownell said.

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