Changes brought on by COVID-19 have affected everyone, children included. We’ve gathered some information to help you support and educate the children in your life as they process the changes around them.
5 Tips for discussing COVID-19 with kids:
1. Share age-appropriate information, honestly and openly.
- Keep it simple and be truthful; holding information back can do more harm than good.
2. Be calm in your delivery.
- Pay attention to your body language as well as your voice.
3. Offer space to share emotions and fears.
- React with empathy while reassuring kids that they are safe.
4. Teach them what they can do.
- Educate kids on good hand hygiene and social and physical distancing to help them feel empowered.
5. Ask what they’re hearing and answer questions.
- Allow them to be active participants in the conversation.
A few other things to consider:
- Avoid blaming groups and contributing to stigmas. This increases fear and has no scientific basis.
- Continue to make yourself available. Children will have new questions as they experience and encounter new information.
- Know that, especially in the case of older children, sources like social media can be a factor. These platforms provide lots of information, but to varying degrees of accuracy. Keeping a continued dialogue can help to dispel myths and keep kids resilient to misinformation.
Outside of conversation:
It’s also important to check in with yourself. Demonstrating healthy coping behaviours during a crisis can be a beneficial model for the kids around you. Plus, if you’re taking care of yourself, you’re better equipped to care for your loved ones.
Maintaining routines, where possible, may help to achieve some normalcy and provide comfort for everyone, kids included. You may find it useful to use some healthy distractions to bring some levity where routines have been disrupted. A few suggestions include: playing board games, cooking meals together or taking a walk.
Looking for more?
There are lots of helpful resources on this topic. When searching, ensure you’re looking to reliable sources such as governmental bodies, health agencies, or other reputable organizations.
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Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation. This is an evolving situation and information is changing all the time, so go to the source for updated information.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.