Their bodies and minds differ from adults. Be kind to them and yourself.
If you can’t run an academic institution for children on a moment’s notice, they will be OK. It is OK.
There is no evidence that learning something earlier is inherently better. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be understanding if you or your kids feel like crying.
Others have walked in these shoes before us, answering the hard questions about realities we never wanted our kids to know.
Talk to them anyway.
Natural disasters cause the same upheaval and uncertainty as a pandemic. For more resources, search the web for kids’ materials on traumatic events like hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
Much of it could be adapted to discuss a pandemic.
Children may physically manifest stress. Be sensitive to what causes children to regress to earlier behaviors, especially bedwetting. These physical symptoms can exist outside of their control, so consider that in your response.
When your patience wears thin, remember kids are under stress too. They have to navigate the situation with much less control of their impulses and emotions. Some kids may seem moody or irritable; they may say or do things that are out of character.
More leniency may be appropriate depending on the situation.
Empower them with what they can control: washing hands, sneezing into elbows, putting tissues in the trash can. Assign them a special task like reminding you to sanitize doorknobs or light switches.
You can clean up a mess or glue something back together, but broken trust is much harder to recover.
Play is a great way to learn. Use drawing, games, and activities to convey what you need to explain to kids without a scary, serious conversation that begins with, “We need to talk.”
Teach them through stories and games. Color with kids and discuss what is happening. Talk about feeling stressed. Let them know it’s not them causing your frustration.