Children of any age may struggle with understanding and following the rules when it comes to social distancing, but more so for younger children than younger teens. Children naturally gravitate towards others as a form of bonding, and want to be friends with everyone. When they are told that they can’t hang out or interact with other children, it can be confusing and difficult for them to follow the rules.
Make Sure They Understand
Explaining Covid and the surrounding protocols around it in a way that they will understand is key. Whether it’s the full blown 100% history account of how Covid came to be or not, is entirely up to you and how your child is going to retain this information. If your child does better retain short and precise information, keep it simple; explain it’s relation to the common cold in that context in order to get your point across, even if it may not be exactly true. If your child can retain more specific and scientific information, you can give them the gamut of everything Covid, and why it’s important to keep their distance, while ensuring they are understanding the practical applications. As long as they are understanding the ramifications of why they should and shouldn’t do certain things to stay healthy is key, and as they age, you can better explain information to them as they are ready.
Stories Can Help
One key way of being able to explain Covid and social distancing to your child is through stories. All while growing up, they have heard all kinds of stories about fitting in, being different, how to grow up and interact with others, and more. Covid definitely falls into some of those categories, and there are numerous books available for a range of ages to help your child better understand the current situation and how it relates to them and their family. You can liken the current social distancing protocols to helping each other, even people you don’t know, and how people will pull over when a firetruck or ambulance needs to get to a scene; people don’t know who is hurt, but they are willingly abiding laws and rules to facilitate these people getting the necessary medical treatment and help they need.
Whether your child fully understands what’s going on or not, gently reminding them about the important rules and factors will go a long. Reminding them why handwashing is vital and keeping apart from others will help them to at least remember to practice it for the time being. Spending time outdoors with others at a distance will help them keep to the rules while also getting the necessary social interactions they need. Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about anything and everything, as long as they can understand the basics and it will help them to better practice social distancing.