“Mommy, can I marry you when I grow up?”
“Dad, why is there hair on your back?”
If you have young kids, then you know that they never run out of questions. They are on another level when it comes to their curiosity — and their questions seem to come out of left field at times.
I can only imagine the questions some kids asked their parents about this coronavirus pandemic — questions that parents undoubtedly didn’t know how to answer or just didn’t have any answers.
Many parents likely had no choice but to talk to their kids about the coronavirus if for no other reason than to explain why they were suddenly yanked out of school. And, in some cases, schools have canceled classes for the remainder of the year. It’s a big deal. Historical, actually.
Still, there are probably a few parents out there who are struggling with how to broach such a heavy topic with their kids — or they’re not sure how much is too much. They just want them to be kids and not worry about grownup stuff.
But when the grownup stuff can indirectly affect them and directly affect Grandma and Grandpa, it’s time to have a conversation.
7 Tips On Having The Coronavirus Conversation With Your Kids
- Don’t avoid the obvious — they can see that something’s not right in the world right now.
- Before you tell them anything, ask them what they know first.
- Be truthful but don’t give more information than they need.
- Tell them how they can help by simply washing their hands often.
- Point out what medical professionals and everyday people are doing to keep us safe.
- Stay calm when speaking to your child and never allow your child to see you panic.
- Be careful not to blame others for this pandemic.
Sources: Kids Health, Child Mind Institute, CDC
Out of my own curiosity, I wanted to know how much the CareContent kids know about the coronavirus — and how they’re feeling about being at home with their parents during this extended period of time.
So, I gave the CareContent Moms their own homework assignment of sorts, and armed them with some questions to ask their kids during this time at home.
Here is what Quinn (age 6), Lorin (age 3), Taylor (age 7), Josiah (age 5), and Kelis (age 3) had to say.
Do you know why you’re at home instead of school? Tell me what you know.
Quinn: Yeah, Mom. Don’t you know this already? (Quinn is losing her patience.) We’re at home because of coronavirus.
Lorin: It’s ‘maronas bias.’ It can make you sick. Really, really sick.
Taylor: Because of the coronavirus. It’s really bothering me because it’s hard to do school on the internet.
Kelis: It’ll make you sick.
Do you know why washing your hands is important? What can happen if you don’t do this?
Quinn: You have to get the germs off your hands, especially after you use the bathroom. And the coronavirus doesn’t like soap or anything.
Lorin: Mommy, can we watch the handwash song? (Vietnam’s Health Ministry PSA handwashing song)
Taylor: To get the germs off. Because people have their own germs, and if you share them you can very possibly get sick.
Josiah: So we don’t get sick.
Kelis: So I don’t stink. (This little one has earned the “realest” title.)
How do you like being at home with Mom and Dad? What do you like about it?
Quinn: It’s OK, but sometimes I get kind of bored around you guys. Every time we start running around, you tell us to stop.
Lorin: I DON’T! (Little Miss Lorin takes home the “keepin’ it 100” trophy.)
Taylor: We get to take really long walks. And bike rides. I just like staying in the nature and exercise.
Josiah/Kelis: No answer. Zilch. Nada. (Learning to plead the fifth early. They have to eat here.)
Do you miss school? What do you miss about it?
Quinn: Yes. I miss [teacher’s name] and my friends. And I miss my specials [afterschool activities]. But I like that I can see everybody online [school’s weekly virtual class]. It’s pretty cool.
Lorin: Circle time. And playing.
Taylor: Well, there’s many things, but if I had to say only one thing: my friends and teachers.
Josiah: Blank stare.
Kelis: Blank stare.
(Now is probably a good time to tell you that the “no-answer-blank-stare” children are siblings and they belong to our CEO, Kadesha Smith. They don’t have time for this nonsense.)
What do you love to do most while at home?
Quinn: Playing teacher and making slime. And reading all my books, like all my unicorn books.
Lorin: Watching movies and my doctor stuff [playing doctor].
Josiah: Watch Lion King and play with animals.
Kelis: Play with Magna-Tiles.
Are you sad about anything?
Quinn: I miss [family members]. And going outside and riding to the park. But the weather has been kind of ugly, so maybe not. But the light shows on the balcony at night have been A LOT of fun! (Solidarity at 8 in the South Loop neighborhood, also happening across the country and around the world.)
Lorin: Yeah, the lights are so much fun! I miss [names every single family member — and their dogs].
If you could make one wish come true today, what would that wish be?
Taylor: For coronavirus to stop. And for more people to believe that coronavirus is a big thing, especially people who don’t really understand what the coronavirus is really about. I think it’s important for all of us to be washing our hands. And if you can’t make it to your elbow, then cough into your hands and then right away don’t touch anything and go wash your hands. (Taylor for the win!)
I should note that CareContent kid #6 — Josh, 3, and Taylor’s little brother — was MIA. Rumor has it that his scooter was more important than answering questions about some stupid virus. Maybe we should all just play in our backyards on a scooter, walk around in circles on our balcony, or pace the floors in our home. And then maybe one day soon, our collective curfew will be over.
Well done, kiddos. Well done.