One way to provide our children with certainty in uncertain times is with facts, for example, telling them the evidence so far shows children are less likely to experience severe symptoms than older adults.
1. You can also help them gain a sense of control by giving them strategies to help prevent them catching the virus. Simple things like practicing the washing of the hands routine can help calm anxiety and help keep your children in a positive frame of mind.
2. Limit media. There is a lot of hysteria and 'what ifs' in the news cycle. Older children will see it but don’t give your younger children free access to media. Younger children find it hard to discern fact from fable so monitor what your kids have access to. Regular conversation is crucial where you can discuss what is happening from a scientific/medical angle. Conversation in an attached loving, warm relationship calms anxiety significantly.
3. Maintain routine. This helps to keep children calm. Regular meals, bed time, bath time, play time etc are all helpful in managing fear and anxiety in children.
4. Remain calm yourself. Children take their cues about how to react to disasters and pandemics from their parents. Regularly fact check and ask questions of medical professionals and scientists as this develops. Also stock up on some extra food each time you shop so that the staples are in the cupboard. Ignorance is almost treated as a virtue in this age but not helpful when it comes to factual and precise information about this pandemic.
5. If home isolation/school closures occur then make it memorable. Play board games, cook special meals, read books together, watch good family programs and get out doors, Above all take the opportunity in the midst of this to create special family bonding memories.
6. If any of your family show flu like symptoms then seek medical advice, self quarantine and follow all instructions.
7. Trust in God. It always helps, especially in times like these.