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Tips for Talking to Your Child or Teen About Corona Virus

A child’s reaction to news of novel corona virus depends on factors such as age, development & pre-existing psychiatric conditions. Following are some tips for communicating with your children.

Model Calmness: The most important communication to your child is your behavior. Children are perceptive and sensitive to the behavior of others. If you and other adults in your household behave calmly, it sends a clear message to your child that there is no need to panic.

Maintain Normalcy: Significant changes to daily routines are stressful for children. Sitting around idle without a plan for the day is likely to escalate children’s anxiety. Try adhering to usual routines and schedules in the household as much as possible.

Listen Actively: Listen to your child’s feelings, worries, fears and questions about corona virus. Children may receive their news about corona virus from school, internet, TV, home or elsewhere. They may worry that the worst may happen to them and/or their friends and loved ones. Ask questions in a non-judgmental and empathetic manner. Show your child that you are present and interested in hearing their thoughts and feelings.

Validate: Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Be careful not to dismiss, invalidate or reject their feelings. Validating is very powerful as it helps a child feel understood. This is especially important for children as they rely on their parents to make sense of their emotions.

Direct toward Facts: Be proactive in talking to your child about facts regarding the corona virus. For an older child, point them in the direction of scientifically authentic and reliable sources of news information about corona virus. Inform your older child that every new story may not be complete or show the big picture. Educate your older child on distinguishing reliable and scientific sources of information about corona virus from non-reliable ones. For young children, basic reassurance from parents that they and their loved ones are safe, is important. You may use storytelling and role play with younger kids to illustrate simple facts. Keep any information you give- simple, short and concrete with younger kids.

Limit & Monitor Media Exposure: The majority of children watch hours of TV & other media daily. Limiting and monitoring the exposure of your child to news can be one step towards helping them regulate their anxiety. The younger the child, the greater the need. For older children too, parental monitoring and guidance to help navigate the confusing and often scary news about corona virus is needed.

While no one can foresee the continued impact of the corona virus on the real estate market, you don’t have to feel entirely in the dark. As your local real estate professional, I am committed to the health and safety of your community and pleased to keep you abreast of the changing situation and help you navigate the challenges. If you’re thinking of buying or selling during this turbulent period, or if I can provide any type of information or assistance, don’t hesitate to give me a call. Stay healthy.

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