Coronavirus: when is too much media too much for children?

Separation and resilience….
February 7, 2020
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Yes, we need to be updated and aware of the latest evidence-based release of information but how much of what we’re hearing is “secondary infection of misinformation”. (The Conversation 12.3.2020). As scientists discover more about this virus, more information is disseminated. Being informed is one thing, fearing, anticipating and planning only for the worst is another. Everyone responds in their own way.

My concerns are focused on children. How much do they know and understand? What is their level of worry? Are they picking up vibes from parents? What should parents tell them? Do children know they’re doing their bit by washing hands well? What’s the impact of hearing about it or seeing it on the news every day?

These questions provide food for thought. What you say or don’t say to your child is every family’s personal decision.

At MPC, we focus on what we can do. This includes practising with children effective hand-washing techniques and reminders for coughing and sneezing etiquette (into your elbow or using a tissue with hand-washing after safe disposal). Parents are doing their bit by keeping sick children at home.

The amount of media around Coronavirus over such an extended period of time with no end in sight, has never been witnessed before. Be aware of how much your children are seeing and hearing, either with a range of media or conversations between adults. Be aware of your anxiety levels and how you are responding to the onslaught of information.

My thoughts about what parents can do.

  • Reduce exposure to media and adult conversations.
  • Remain calm.
  • Listen to children.
  • Start a conversation – what does your child know or feel. Validate their feelings.
  • Explain the facts. If worried, reassure that you are a family and will all help each other.
  • Be kind to others.

And most importantly…

  • Keep on with your usual way of life. There are many unknowns in the future out of our control, however we can all enjoy everyday moments today!

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