What I’m Doing to Calm My Children’s Fears Amidst the Coronavirus Concerns

This week feels like we a living in a movie. Every time I check my e-mail, watch the news, or see a news article, there is news about the Coronavirus. This is the week that the first case in Louisiana was confirmed, and it makes sense to take all the necessary precautions to prevent spreading and to keep people healthy.

While there is concern about the virus spreading, there is another aspect that I want to keep out of our home as well. There is a tangible fear that isn’t helpful for children. There is healthy fear for adults that can motivate us to follow suggested precautions. Our family will do whatever we are asked to do by our jobs, by our government officials, and our schools to minimize the number of cases in our state. There are also steps that I am taking as a mom so that our sons aren’t overly worried.

Limiting what children hear on the news about the Coronavirus

While I am reading lots of articles about the virus and listening to updates on the news, most of those aren’t helpful for young children. It can be confusing and scary, when what they need is calm and reassurance. I’m not listening to the news around them, but I can explain that it’s important to be even more careful than usual about washing our hands and staying home if we don’t feel good because it’s a time when we don’t want to spread germs that can get people sick. For our thirteen year old, we’ll talk more about what the Coronavirus is, but still in a way that doesn’t cause alarm or panic.

Planning fun activities to do at home

While large events are being cancelled over the country this week, I started thinking about what we would do if we weren’t able to go to our everyday activities for a few days or weeks. While I can’t predict what will happen, if we end up having some days where we can’t get out as much as usual, I’m going to treat them like snow days. When we lived in Oklahoma, sometimes we would be snowed in all week. We stayed up late, watched movies, played games, cleaned out closets, made crafts, baked fun treats, and got very creative through the week. This can be a time to connect as a family, to get some rest, and to slow our busy schedules.

Talk about things you are looking forward to doing after the Coronavirus passes 

If we get out of our routine because of the Coronavirus, we can talk about what we’re looking forward to doing after the virus seems to slow down or stop being threat. Is there a new restaurant in town we haven’t tried? Somewhere we talked about going as a whole family but haven’t had the chance? Trips we want to take when it is a good time? Helping to see beyond the virus is both hopeful and helpful.

Whatever impact the Coronavirus has on our schedules, I want to emphasize the consistency of our family and provide a sense of safety and calm. And over the next few days, I’ll be thankful once again for Disney+!

Stephanie grew up with her family in Kirkwood, Missouri. She earned a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and then a Montessori degree in Atlanta, Georgia.  She also lived in Oklahoma for several years, and now calls Baton Rouge home. She taught PreK and Elementary school part time, full time, and had some stay-at home mom time when her babies were little. She teaches PreK four at Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, and she loves being a teacher mom. In her free time, she enjoys going to Barre class, cooking, traveling, singing, girls' nights, trips to the beach, and spending time with friends and family. She and her husband have two adventurous, adorable boys, ages seven and thirteen, who keep life exciting and hilarious. 


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