A lot can change in just a matter of days, and we’re all experiencing things we never imagined. You have questions, and your kids do too. So here’s a few tips to keep in mind when talking to your kids about what’s going on…
1. Maintain a routine (bedtime, meals, schoolwork, chores, screen time, etc.). With kids out of school, parents working at home, etc. take some time to establish a new routine. Routines help kids feel safe and secure. It gives them an idea of what to expect next.
2. Answer questions and explain changes in routine in a developmentally appropriate manner. Limit details.
For example, I told my 4 yr. old grandson, “Lots of people are getting sick, so it’s better to stay home from your school. Mommy’s staying home from her school too.”
4. Turn off the TV and limit conversations with other adults around your kids. Too much information can produce unnecessary anxiety. Who isn’t a little freaked out by people in hazmat suits?!
5. Stay calm and maintain a positive attitude. Kids take their cues from you. Focus on good things (food to eat, home and family, spring, Jesus, etc.).
6. Reinforce healthy habits (handwashing, etc.). Practice a Bible verse or sing a Bible song while washing your hands for 20 seconds!
7. Turn to the Bible. Spend time reassuring your kids. God’s in control; He’s always with us; He’ll never leave us; Don’t’ be afraid. Create a coloring page with your favorite verse, and post it where everyone can see.
9. Take care of yourself. Get enough rest. Eat right. Go for a walk or get some exercise in your backyard. And plug into the God’s Word!
10. Reach out to others. Send cards to nursing home residents, donate food or money to your local food bank, call your friends or family… Get creative!
This is a hard time for all of us, but “We know in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” – Romans 8:28. Hang in there, and have some fun with your family.
God is good – all the time,
Children’s Ministry Director