Coronavirus put a halt in everyone’s normal lives. As of this writing, there are 230 cases with 18 deaths in the Philippines. The numbers may not be as “alarming” compared to the other countries but this doesn’t mean it’s not a serious situation in this side of the world.
Last week, March 10 to 13, was supposedly the kids’ Exam Week. Unfortunately, the day before the start of the exams and even before the announcement of “lockdown,” the school cancelled it already. There were even rumors in the school that one of the parents tested positive, although the school administration denied such allegations.
The kids were happy because they no longer have to study and take their Final Exams. They were delighted because it’s officially summer vacation, which means no more waking up early. Yet, they kept on asking questions.
What is coronavirus? What will happen if we have coronavirus? How can we get it? Are we going to die? Do we still have to take our exams? Does this mean we cannot go to Japan? What will happen to us?
These are just some of the many questions the kids were asking me since the day school was cancelled. The husband and I have no intention of shielding them from reality. We want them to be involved and understand the situation so that they will know what’s happening.
To be honest, it’s not easy to explain to kids what the world is battling with today. The questions are endless and they can’t help but be concerned with what going around the world. Nonetheless, we hope these tips could help in making them understand the gravity of the situation:
Honesty Is Still The Best Policy
We always teach our kids not to tell lies and it’s time for us, parents, to walk the talk. Now is not the time to sugarcoat to our kids about the reality we are all living in.
The situation is serious, which is why it is important to be honest to our children. My kids are in grade school age, which means they have a sense of maturity to understand what is going on around them. We explain to them what is happening and answer their questions, in a manner and language that they will best understand. There’s no point of sheltering them from reality.
Keep Them Informed
My kids tend to ask tons of questions about this. As parents, be ready to answer those concerns by keeping ourselves informed through reliable sources as well.
We found several videos online that easily and animatedly explains what this disease is all about. Maximize those resources so kids will have a better understanding of what coronavirus is. They also need to do what it can do to us and how can we prevent it. Nonetheless, if you are unsure, be honest about it and together, find answers to those questions.
The girls were also asking why we’re not enrolling them in classes or why we cannot go out of the house. Kids need to be informed of the current situation as well so we tell them what happens when the entire island was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Strengthen Good Habits
Take this opportunity to not just instill but strengthen good habits. Part of our responsibility as parents is not just to explain to them what Covid-19 is but also to educate them on how this could be prevented.
Remind our kids (and ourselves, as well) to wash our hands as frequently as possible. Sanitizing is equally important, so we remind them to wipe commonly touched surfaces. We also need to boost our immune system so as a family, we eat healthy food, exercise, and get sufficient amount of sleep.
Social media is very active these days. For parents with older kids who have their own accounts, teach and remind them to be more sensitive. Avoid posting anything that could potentially offend people. Not everyone has the luxury to stay at home (even if they want to) so we must educate them on how to use social media responsibly.
Acknowledge Their Fear And Worries
It’s normal for kids to be scared or worried. At this point, acknowledge those fears and never brush them aside. My eldest always ask what will happen to her if she gets coronavirus, so we just explain that the effects are not as severe compared to adults (1).
We tell our kids it’s okay to be scared about this but at the same time, we inform them that something is being done to address this disease.
Be Strong And Reassuring
This is important. It may be a scary time to live and never in our wildest dream did we imagine that we will experience this. Still, now is also not the time to show our weakness because kids could pick up our mood.
It could be challenging but parents should show strength and re-assure our kids that this, too, shall pass. Times like this are hard but if we all help and cooperate with one another, we will be able to combat this virus.
While we are in quarantine mode, we take this opportunity to be more mindful and spend quality time with the kids. Use the time that we have in creating memories even while inside our homes.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.