Talking to kids about the COVID-19 pandemic

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Stress for parents is at an all-time high as they navigate parenting, home schooling and working from home amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Amanda McNabb is a Clinical Staff Development Educator for Crisis and Diversion Services for the University of Utah.

“For most families, this is going to be a difficult time,” she explains. “We’ve had a lot of calls from individuals expressing anxiety, or from parents expressing stress from having their children home and trying to be both parent and educator and working at the same time.”

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When it comes to talking to children, McNabb explained what that conversation should sound like.

“One of the biggest things that kids need is the basic information,” said McNabb. “You want to let them know what’s going on, but we don’t want to give them too much detail especially for younger kids. Just letting them know that right now there’s a lot people that are getting sick and that being out of school, staying at home, doing their work from home is really to prevent other people from getting ill too.”

McNabb explained during this time it is important for parents to keep a routine.

“As well as parents having breaks. They need time away from their kids even though they may still be in the same household, but maybe doing something in the living room while maybe the kids are in the bedroom or vice versa in order to get a little personal space.”

If you’re experiencing stress, you’re encouraged to reach out. The number is 1-800-273-8255.

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