In the past week, life has changed dramatically for Americans. Connecticut has seen schools, early childhood programs, libraries, restaurants, bars, and gyms close as known cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state have begun to balloon. We are indeed in an unprecedented era where local, state, and national leaders have called on Americans to commit to social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 (referred to as flattening the curve. People across the country are anxious about the health and economic impacts of this global pandemic, and parents are also concerned about the impact on their children’s emotional wellbeing. In response to this crisis, a variety of organizations have produced resources to help parents support their children, some which are listed below.
- Talking with children about coronavirus disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have produced this guide for parents and adults who work with young children. This guide includes general principles, specific facts about COVID-19, and links to other resources.
- Talking to children about COVID-19 (coronavirus): A parent resource. The National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Nurses combined efforts to offer this guide for parents, which goes into more depth than the CDC guide and is available in English, Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, Korean, French, and Vietnamese. The NASP website also provides other relevant resources for parents, educators, school mental health professionals, and school administrators.
- How to talk to your kids about coronavirus. PBS Kids published an article to help parents think through how to talk with children in a developmentally appropriate way about what coronavirus is and what families can do to prevent its spread. This article also includes link to relevant clips from PBS shows about getting and staying healthy.
- Supporting kids during the coronavirus crisis. The Child Mind Institute produced this list of practical tips for nurturing and protecting children at home during this public health crisis. This resource is available in English and Spanish and is part of full suite of resources dedicated to supporting parents during COVID-19.
- Parent/caregiver guide to helping families cope with the coronavirus disease 2019. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network produced this fact sheet, which includes recommendations for coping with stress through communication, hygiene, routines, self-care, and for supporting the reactions of children at different developmental stages. This fact sheet is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
In the midst of this global health crisis, PEER hopes that you find these resources helpful personally or in your work with the families of young children. As we navigate these challenging times together, may we all find ways to remain connected and do our best to take care of ourselves, our elders and our youngsters!