Keeping Your Family Safe and Calm

Your children depend on you for safety, both physical and emotional. These tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help: 

  • Answer their questions about the pandemic simply and honestly, in an age-appropriate way. Say that following rules like handwashing and staying home will help your family stay healthy.
  • Recognize your child's feelings. For example, say calmly, “I can see that you are upset because you can't have your friends over." With teenagers, try working out solutions together — for example, “I know that it’s hard not to be able to hang out with your friends.  How do you think you can stay in touch with them?”
  • Keep in touch with loved ones. Children may also worry about a grandparent who is living alone. Video chats can help ease their anxiety. 
  • Model how to manage feelings. Talk through how you are managing your own feelings. (“I am worried about Grandma since I can't go visit her. The best I can do is to check in with her more often by phone. I will put a reminder on my phone to call her in the morning and the afternoon until this outbreak ends.") 
  • Tell your child before you leave the house for work or essential errands. In a calm and reassuring voice, tell them where you are going, how long you will be gone, when you will return, and that you are taking steps to stay safe.
  • Look forward. Tell them that scientists are working hard to figure out how to help people who get ill, and that things will get better. 
  • Offer extra hugs and say, “I love you" more often. 

You can find a wealth of additional expert, supportive information about parenting during these unsettled times — from bringing a newborn home to helping children with masks, to disinfecting your home at the American Academy of Pediatrics parenting website at