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Resources help adults talk to children about COVID-19

Alberta teachers cope with COVID 19 pandemic

April 7, 2020 ATA News Staff


The Alberta Teachers’ Association has released a guide to help parents and teachers talk to kids about COVID-19. ATA staff officer Phil McRae and pediatrician Michael Rich of Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health have teamed up to produce a digital document and video that pinpoint the significant issues that adults should be addressing with children and youth. 

The guides discuss techniques to approach topics surrounding COVID-19, such as social distancing, truths and fantasies, personal safety and what the future may hold. 

“We don’t want to scare kids, but we must be truthful and find ways to talk to them honestly and hopefully about COVID-19,” McRae said.

The online article and video guide are broken into three parts.

The section entitled “What Should I Say?” addresses how adults can explain what is known and unknown about the coronavirus and how it’s spread. 

“What Should I Do?” offers idea on how to maintain social connection while also social distancing. For example, you may consider cooking or eating together online with friends or family, playing games in a virtual community or playing music together online.

The section entitled “How Will We Get Through This?” advises readers to avoid treating the pandemic like an indefinite snow day. Get out into nature (but avoid playgrounds), and use this time to learn something special and discover the internet as a powerful tool. ❚

A document and video co-produced by the Alberta Teachers’ Association is aimed at helping adults guide children through the COVID-19 pandemic.


Where to find it

The Talking to Kids About Coronavirus (COVID-19) document is available here.

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