Friday, March 27, 2020

Parenting During a Pandemic

As a parent, part of your job is keeping your children safe. If I could, I would wrap my kids in bubble wrap to cushion their falls.

But one thing I never worried about was a global pandemic. Now I'm struggling to balance my anxiety with trying to keep my kids occupied.

Yesterday, I tried to muster up interest in the backyard swing set -- now that all playgrounds are wrapped with police tape in Denver. "Mommy, can I sit on the swing? Does it have germs?" my four-year-old asked.

Then she nervously took my hand when we took the dog for a walk. "I'm not sure if we should do this," she said. I tried to explain to her that we were still allowed to leave the house to go for walks

I thought I was doing a good job of explaining to her why we couldn't see grandma for a while. Of why preschool is closed. Of why one person has to go to the grocery store instead of the whole family.

Yesterday, as the US became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, I seemed to have faltered as well. Today, I'm going to take a break from reading the coronavirus body count.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, keeping calm is key. "Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others," the CDC said in guidelines on its website.

Here are some other parenting tips from experts:

  • How to Calmly Explain the Coronavirus to Your Kids
  • Tips for handling work and kids during COVID-19 isolation
  • How to talk to children about the coronavirus
  • Do you have any tips to share about talking to your children about the coronavirus?

    Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

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