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How to help kids deal with anxiety about catching coronavirus

Not all kids are happy about going back to school because they're worried about catching the coronavirus. Blanca Cobb shares tips on ways to help your child cope.

Several NC private schools are gearing up for in-person teaching this fall. But, what if your child is nervous about going back to school because they're worried about catching the coronavirus. Not all kids will tell you that they're feeling anxious. Some kids might show in interest in school or back to school shopping. Others might shrug their shoulders when you bring up school. Others might avoid the conversation or change subjects. Pay attention to their body language when you're talking about school. Are they pulling away? Or, making negative facial expressions?

If you notice signs that might signal anxiety and your child doesn't want to talk then you can bring up the conversation. A great way to do so is by talking about common concerns that other kids have such as mask wearing or social distancing or wondering how to avoid germs. When you normalize their fears then this will increase the likelihood that they'll start talking about their concerns. 

When your child starts talking about their fears of the coronavirus, be sure to empathize with their feelings. When they feel validated then they're more likely to talk. Whatever concerns they raise, brainstorm ways to solve the problem. Let's say that your child is worried about getting too hot in a mask and they think that they'll have a hard time breathing. You can offer solutions such as going to the bathroom and wash their hands well. Then they can remove the mask for a few seconds to release the heat. 

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