MIAMI (CBSMiami) — This is a stressful and trying time for both adults and children. As coronavirus worries increase, so does the anxiety in both parents and children.
So what is the best way to discuss coronavirus with your family and children?READ MORE: Miami Police Department Sees Record Number of Applications In Hours
Family therapist Darby Fox says when talking to children, tailor the message to the child’s age.
With kids under four, discussion should be very limited. With kids four to seven, she says be sure to use concrete terms.
“There is a virus that is kind of like the flu. You know, sometimes you get a sore throat or your stomach hurts, you don’t feel well,” said Fox.
For kids seven to ten she says parents can stress that children don’t seem to be as affected as much as older adults but that we all still need to do our part for prevention.
“And just say for a little while we don’t want to pass the germs around so we are just going to stay at home and do some different things and we will be fine. Really reassuring.”READ MORE: ‘Greyson’s Law’ To Add Protections For Children At Risk Of Parental Harm
Reiterating the importance of good hand washing is one way to empower children that they are helping prevent the virus from spreading.
For kids older than ten, parents can look at the science on the virus and stress that most cases are usually mild.
In general, vocabulary matters, so experts say keep death out of it.
“Because we don’t really know how do you prevent death and it’s so ominous so I think again we go back to a language of yes you could get sick but you know you have had other illnesses and you are going to be okay.”
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Experts say limiting kids’ exposure to media and social media coverage of the outbreak is best.MORE NEWS: Monroe County Commissioner Eddie Martinez Facing Domestic Violence Charge
In addition, do not forget to take time for yourself so you manage your own fears in order to be able to handle your families.