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COVID-19: How to talk to your kids

Many California parents are finding themselves in the unprecedented situation of potentially being home for months with their kids during a pandemic – and their kids likely have questions. Ashley Virtue, external relations director of the National Conflict Resolution Center, is an expert on talking to your children about difficult topics. Just this week, she released a “COVID-19” video series as part of her weekly Mindset Monday You Tube video series geared toward helping viewers communicate better with family, friends, and coworkers during these constantly changing, uncertain times.

Ashley’s just released an informative video with tips for parents and caretakers to explain how to talk to your kids about the coronavirus in a way that’s both truthful and reassuring. LINK TO ASHLEY’S VIDEO:

Know they need to hear from you. Your instinct may be to protect your kid from scary news but realize that they already know about it; they need you to talk to them about it.

Listen to them. As parents, sometimes we tend to talk at our kids, instead of engaging in conversation with them. Ask them what they know, what they’ve heard, and how they’re feeling. This will help you figure out how much information they have, how anxious they’re feeling, which will make your response more calm, rational, and productive.

Talk to them about the big picture. There are a lot of details and rumors flying around about the coronavirus, and your kids may have heard some statistics that sound really scary. Make sure you focus on the big picture, and calmly assure them that you’re OK, they’re OK, and that you have a plan in place. On that note: make a plan for how your family would respond if someone got sick, or if school and office closures last a while, and tell them about it so they feel included.

Don’t forget to update them. We as adults assume everyone else in our lives has seen the latest statistics or heard the latest story about the coronavirus response – but we forget to pass those updates along to our kids. Remember that kids are very thoughtful and will often think about something going on in the world for a long time, with whatever information they have, even if they don’t say anything about it. The news cycle changes so quickly, it’s important to tell your kids what’s going on (and of course, stick to the facts only, not speculation).

National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) provides the resources, training and expertise to help people, organizations and communities around the world manage and solve conflicts, with civility. Built on the principle that every dispute has a solution, NCRC serves a variety of communities in both the public and private sectors – regionally, nationally and internationally. The organization’s mission is to resolve issues with the highest possible degree of civility and equitability to all parties involved.

NCRC was founded in 1983 by the University of San Diego Law Center and the San Diego County Bar Association. With more than 35 years of experience and over 20,000 cases managed, NCRC is recognized as an international leader in mediation instruction and conflict resolution. To learn more, donate or volunteer please call 619-238-2400 or visit Connect with NCRC on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Source: East County Californian

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