Parents urged to explain COVID-19 to kids
Founder, Kidpreneurs Africa, Juliet Vincent-Obi, has called on parents to make use of the compulsory holidays Coronavirus (COVID-19) has provided and bond with their children/wards.
She explained that parents/guardians should not only teach their children/wards how to pronounce Coronavirus (COVID-19), but to also explain the meaning and teach them how to observe preventive measures.
She said: “See this season as an opportunity to bond and work with your kids on building news and media literacy skills to separate fact from fiction. Some kids believe that once a person coughs or sneezes, he/she has contacted COVID-19. Even as an adult, any symptom you have now (in your head) will automatically make you think of COVID-19. Fear is such a horrible thing, it kills more than the virus itself.”
Vincent-Obi urged parents/guardians to get children involved in activities based on their areas of interest, saying if any family member’s birthday falls within this period, the whole family should join hands to bake homemade cake for the person, as doing this encourages bonding, prevents boredom and leaves a lasting impression on the child.
“During this period, kids will demand more snacks, but show them that it is better choosing healthy foods over junk foods, even if they take longer time to prepare. Be mindful of what they eat at this period,” she said.
The founder also called on parents to endeavour to explain social distancing, saying many children may not understand why parents/guardians are not allowing them to be with or visit their friends. She said parents should explain to their children that their family is only following the guidelines of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Do not scare them, but tell them it is staying away from others until the risk of contracting COVID-19 is under control. While we do not know how long it will take COVID-19 to go away, social distancing will help reduce the number of new cases. We must follow the guidelines of health experts to be safe and remain alive,” she said.