By Jessica Grose, The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2020

Lucy Jones
  • Assess what your child knows
  • Process your own anxiety first
  • Don’t dismiss your child’s fears
  • Talk at an age-appropriate level
  • Emphasize good hygiene

“By now, your children may have heard about the new coronavirus, whether it’s from a snippet of a news briefing or from other kids at school…..So what should you tell kids about the coronavirus, and how? We spoke to a pediatrician, two psychologists, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a safety expert for their best tips….”

Click here to read the full article

Other tips for parents and teachers from Dr. Richard Dana:

  1. We have a responsibility, as well as an opportunity, to assist children in managing their emotions and in helping them process information more effectively.
  2. We do our best work when we use a developmental perspective.
  3. Rather than overloading children in grades K-8 with information, teachers and parents should provide reassurance and simple information.
  4. Limiting exposure to media representations of the threat is essential.
  5. Behind most children’s questions are emotional needs.  They seek understanding, comfort, and reassurance about their immediate safety.  Teachers and parents should respond in a supportive manner.
  6. Reflective listening techniques will help children feel heard and aware that adults are emotionally available to them.
  7. Our job is to be responsive and supportive of the thoughts and emotions that these challenging times create for children.

(and, thanks to Jen Z. for asking the question)

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