Talking to your child about COVID-19

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - According to Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana has the fastest growth rate in confirmed COVID-19 cases than any other state or country in the world.

Licensed Counselor Christy Pennison | Source: KALB

Experts say now is a good time to talk to your children about the novel coronavirus.

By now, most kids have heard about COVID-19, whether it be through school, teachers, parents, family or even friends.

As a parent, talking about the virus with your children will not only ease worry, but also anxiety.

First, recognize your own anxiety before sitting down to talk to your child and make sure you're in a good headspace.

Licensed Counselor Christy Pennison says it's important to give your child the facts and answer any questions your child may have as honestly and as clearly as possible.

Reassure your child. Let them know what you're doing as a family to stay safe, such as hand washing and social distancing.

Then create a new routine for you and your children that can be practiced every day, even from home.

Keep in mind your children are taking cues from you, whether you realize it or not.

“Your children are looking at you and noticing how you’re responding to this," said Pennison. "So one of the things as parents, no pressure parents, but is to be aware about how you feel and then being able to talk honestly about how you feel sometimes with your kids too. And that doesn’t mean that you share everything with your kids but it does mean saying yeah, mom’s worried or scared at this time, but here’s what I’m doing to focus on what we can control.”

Every child is different and may respond differently.

If your child asks you a question about COVID-19 that you may not know the answer to, Pennison says it's okay to tell your child you don't know.

Pennison adds it's important for adults to take care of themselves as well, whether it's reading a book or doing something they enjoy such as cooking or exercise.

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