School close, cinemas close, no meetings with friends, quarantine and social distancing, maybe there are even sick people in the immediate vicinity – all of this is frightening, especially because nobody knows how long this condition will last. It is therefore all the more important to offer our children and adolescents support and security, to remain level-headed and not to panic. The media guide “LOOK OUT! What your child does with the media. ”Advises parents to take their children's worries seriously, to use age-appropriate sources of information and not to transfer their own fears directly to younger people.
Corona only on the right channels
It's everywhere, unfortunately you can't get past Corona. And our children are not only directly confronted with the consequences of a pandemic, but also through social media postings or the evening news at home. Iren Schulz, media coach of the SCHAU HIN!
“Messages for adults are particularly unsuitable for children of daycare and primary school age. For younger people, I recommend parents to use child-friendly formats that explain the current situation in an age-appropriate manner. ”
One of these offers is, for example, the Geolino podcast "Together against Corona".
Take worries seriously
Just like us, children want their issues and feelings to be taken seriously. It is therefore especially important to ask how they are doing, what questions they have and what concerns them. The feeling of being seen alone is comforting. Depending on how old children are, they are often interested in very different aspects of the events. Parents can also address their own concerns. The most important thing now is to convey calm and security. Unfocused speculation and panic unsettle children and fuel their fear, just as it does for us adults.
Declare according to age
Toddlers and preschoolers
Not only is our everyday life out of joint, too the very young and preschool children need support to understand the changing everyday life. It is therefore important to explain:
- why the daycare closed
- why washing hands is so important these days
- why grandparents or friends cannot be visited at first.
Our children of this age can also develop fears that they or their parents will become seriously ill, lose their parents or be separated from them. On the other hand, what gives security is when the parents do everything to protect themselves and themselves and make it clear that the course of Corvid-19 is not critical for most people.
They already understand relatively clearly what is happening outside our four walls, but also that a lot is being done to slow the spread of the virus and that research is being carried out on a vaccine. In addition to fears about the well-being of her family, moral questions of guilt and punishment often arise at this age. They ask why their own school was closed or what happens when a known person becomes infected with the virus and want to have responsibilities cleared. Parents can primarily use child-friendly information, such as that provided by the SCHAU HIN! (www.schau-hin.info/corona-rise) were put together.
Teenagers who are in the midst of their parents' umbilical process particularly meet conditions such as quarantine, social distancing, the cancellation of events and the restricted range of motion, and can awaken a feeling of injustice and defiance in them. At the same time, political questions arise increasingly at this age. A good opportunity to talk about how news is created, read articles together, and review sources when information seems untrustworthy. Important: do not share or post anything yourself if the source is strange.
"LOOK AT! What your child does with the media. ”Is a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth and the two public channels Das Erste and ZDF. The media guide for families has been supporting parents and educators in strengthening their children's media skills since 2003.