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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: How to talk to your kids about COVID-19

✍️📩It's another "Tips & Tricks" T U E S D A Y from HHCA Health & Wellness Director, Wendy Cummings:

✔️🗣👂COVID-19. Sounds like an undercover mission straight out of a James Bond movie, doesn't it? Every time I hear it congers up different thoughts, emotions, and reactions. I’ve gone from reading about it, thinking about it and tracking the data 24/7 to not really wanting to hear about it at all, to trying to find a healthy balance of staying informed yet not letting COVID-19 hijack me. If we're having an array of thoughts and emotions as adults, imagine what might be going through the minds of our children. Whether they know how to verbalize it, they probably have questions and even anxiety about Coronavirus and all that it brings to the table.

The best advice I can give you is to talk about it! Talk openly, honestly and calmly. Many of you may have already had some conversations with your children while others have waited; hoping this would pass sooner rather than later. Even if you have chatted with your child when the pandemic started, we have been isolated and working outside our norm long enough that new questions, feelings of anxiety and uncertainty may be bubbling beneath the surface. Open the lines of communication; find out what questions, if any, your child may have. Explore what may be making them anxious. Perhaps being away from friends or not getting to participate in their sport, theater production, prom or other activity is starting to take a toll.

Not sure how to talk to your child about it, when to talk and how much to tell them? There are many articles out there to guide you; my favorite so far is PBS' "10 tips for talking about COVID-19 with your kids". I encourage you to check it out and keep the lines of communication open with your children, no matter their age. Keep tabs on your own level of anxiety and be sure you are relying on reliable sources for your updates on COVID-19 as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is, hands-down, the best source of the most up-to-date and accurate information available. Misinformation is readily available in many places; please be sure to stick to reputable sources like the CDC and your local/state Department of Health and Environmental Control agencies for your information and updates. BE WELL!

PBS: 10 Tips for Talking to Your Child about COVID

Center for Disease Control

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