Keeping our kids healthy while the coronavirus spreads will require more than just social distancing.
We need to watch out for the mental health of children by providing plenty of mental distance too, says 2019 Psychologist of the Year Dr Peta Stapleton.
“My advice really is to turn it off when kids are in earshot, not just the TV but the news in the car and on the kitchen radio,” Bond University’s Dr Stapleton said.
Children take on the worries of their parents, without always understanding why. Dr Stapleton says children can then internalise these stresses in their subconscious.
Her advice is to engage with children’s concerns calmly, reassure them that it is normal to feel worried and tell them the truth about the situation.
“Perhaps say, ‘Yes, there is a virus that affects some people. The health authorities are doing the best possible job they can to keep everyone safe’,” she said.
Parents can encourage kids by giving them steps to “stop the germs” by teaching and reinforcing basic hygiene steps.
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