How to talk about the coronavirus with kids

By The Understood Team

Expert reviewed by Amanda Morin

People getting sick, schools closing, and news about the coronavirus can be scary and confusing for kids — especially for younger kids. Older kids may worry about grades slipping or not being prepared for upcoming exams. And in general, kids may feel anxious about the unknown. 

Kids who learn and think differently can have added challenges. For example, it’s common for kids with ADHD and other learning and thinking differences to also struggle with anxiety.

Language disorders can make it hard for kids to express their thoughts and understand what people say. Kids with slow processing speed need longer to take in and process what they hear. All of those things make talking about the unfolding crisis harder.

Having information and answers can help. But it’s important to talk with kids in an age-appropriate way. Some kids may not want to open up about feelings or fears. Tell them that’s OK, and that you’re there to listen and answer questions any time.

Hear from Understood expert Amanda Morin on her coronavirus anxiety, and her tips to avoid passing it along to kids.

For more tips on how to talk with kids about the coronavirus, explore tips from Child Mind Institute and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

You’ll also find suggestions from the New York Times, including specific tips for talking with your tween or teen. Also, discover resources for English language learners.

And here are more tips from the Understood team for when your child:

Also, get tips for talking with your child about social and emotional issues and on showing empathy to your child.

Explore more coronavirus updates and tips from Understood.


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