McKnight Pediatrics

Stay In Touch

Parenting During a Pandemic

April 9, 2020

The Atlantic magazine has published two articles about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of parents: Mary Katharine Ham's "It's Okay to Be a Different Kind of Parent During the Pandemic" and Lori Gottlieb's advice column "Dear Therapist: What's Your Advice to Parents Whose Kids Are Stuck at Home During the Coronavirus Lockdowns?"

And in the Atlantic Daily newsletter today, Caroline Mimbs Nyce shares this advice:

Three tips for talking to your kids about the outbreak:

1. Explain what's happening using kid-friendly language. "Ask your child to imagine that everyone in your family got the flu. If everyone felt sick at the same time, you could not care for one another. But if you took turns getting sick, someone could always be healthy enough to help," Andrea Delbanco, the editor in chief of Time for Kids, told my colleague Ashley Fetters.

2. Don't lie to them or promise an outcome. "That might calm them in the short term," Delbanco says, "but in the long run, it's important that they trust you to be honest with them."

3. It's fine to fact-check misconceptions about the virus. And to shield kids from the most brutal information. That's what Abigail Gewirtz, a family-social-science professor at the University of Minnesota, told my colleague Kate Cray.