Chicago Grammar School

COVID-19 Resources

Talking to Your Kids About Coronavirus

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we want to offer a few thoughts about managing our own coronavirus fear and worry and how we can have calm and productive conversations with our children about the virus.

This pandemic is scary, however, it is important to keep our fears in check. If we are constantly thinking “what if” or imagining the worst, we are feeding our anxiety and helping it to grow bigger. Some worry is helpful in that it motivates us to continue working to flatten that curve; it helps us to continue social distancing and wash our hands.  But worry that spirals and is extreme does not help us or our children and it does not make something less likely to happen. The more we can be self-aware about our worries, the more manageable they become.

When you are talking to your children, you want to find out what they already know and you want to keep in mind what is developmentally appropriate. We want to be prepared to answer their questions and provide factual information (see resources below).

At CGS, we teach children strategies to calm the mind and focus on being present. Ask your child to show you these skills they have learned at school — for example keeping still with their eyes closed and focusing on breathing deeply. This is something you can do together and will help everyone.  Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself!  Get enough sleep, give yourself breaks, and give yourself credit for managing a constantly changing situation – parenting at its best!

If you have questions or concerns, please be sure to reach out to Phillip Jackson, Head of School (pjackson@chicagogrammar.org).

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE VIRUS

World Health Organization: Coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

AAP Health Children: 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Illinois Department of Public Health: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

City of Chicago: Coronavirus Response Center

Coronavirus Information and Updates from the University of Michigan Public Health Experts (good comprehensive site)

PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY

Centers for Disease Control: How to Wash Your Hands

What Parents Need to Know About Coronavirus (NYTimes)

Coronavirus in Babies and Children (Johns Hopkins Medicine)

The Corona Virus Spares Most Kids. These Theories May Explain Why. (National Geographic)

TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN

How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus (Harvard Health)

BrainPOP: Coronavirus

NPR: Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus

MANAGING YOUR OWN ANXIETY ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

What to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus (HuffPost)

The Difference Between Worry, Stress, and Anxiety (NYTimes)

Coronavirus Anxiety – Helpful Expert Tips and Resources (ADAA)