Our children are paying attention to everything we say, even when you don’t think they are paying attention. It is important for parents to remember that children are what they live. So if they live in an environment of fear they will live in fear. But if they live in an environment of transparency they will live in comfort. When parents are home and talking about current events including COVID-19 be sure to remember that they are listening to each and every word you say.
The challenge we have as parents is that they listen, but they don’t always ask questions. What happens is they have their own levels of anxiety and worry. To alleviate this I recommend you sit down with your children and have a simple 30-minute conversation about your family’s stance on current events. As an example explain to them your financial situation, whatever that may be so that it is not a shock to them if they need to eat the same meal five days in a row or have to move in order to downsize. In addition, explain to them what your family plans to do. What is your strategy? As an example, my strategy is to go back to basics and buy that 5 lb bag of Pillsbury flour that can make 20 loaves of bread, or 10 pizzas and even make some Italian fried dough or Beignets as they say in French! My conversation with my children was around the fact that Mamma has saved for a rainy day, and it is now raining… I also explained that we will be cooking a lot from scratch and that I would need their help, which then turned it into a fun family activity! I highly recommend making bread/pizza dough with your kids – all kids love to play with the dough and it is super easy; three cups of flour – two tablespoons of yeast – 1/2 teaspoon of salt and one cup of water. Mix ingredients together and knead the dough for two minutes – then let stand for 3 hours under a covered bowl in a warm place. If you need to create a warm place just cover the bowl with several towels.
Whatever you do don’t underestimate what your children are feeling and thinking. I know that as parents our lives can be very hectic but if you take a 30-minute break to talk to your children now, and put them at ease, they will feel so much better, and at the end of the day what is more important than our kids!