Talking to children and managing anxiety about Coronavirus

An image of a child's hands as they wash them under a tap Published: 18th Mar 2020

At Birmingham Children’s Trust we pride ourselves on the support and training that we provide to our adoptive families and foster carers.

We understand that the current situation with Coronavirus may be creating additional stress, aside from any of the typical difficulties that families sometimes need support for.

The resources below are designed to support your conversations with children and young people about Coronavirus. We hope that they will help you to manage any related anxiety. Remember, we are always here to support our adopters and foster carers. 

Looking after yourself

If you’re feeling anxious about Coronavirus, you might find the following resources helpful:

Coronavirus and your wellbeing by Mind UK. This resource includes a “staying at home checklist” to make help you stay safe and healthy if you need stay at home.

Coronavirus anxiety with chronic illness by Creaky Joints. This is a useful blog for anyone who has a chronic health condition that puts them in a higher risk category.

Taking Care of your Mental Health During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Talking to children about Coronavirus

The following resources may help you talk to children and young people about Coronavirus:

Advice for talking to children about Coronavirus by Tanya Bryson. Tanya is Co-author of ‘Whole Brain Child’ (with Dan Siegel). This approach very compatible with ‘PACE’ principles of parenting.

Social story from Wicklow Alliance Facebook Page. This image can help to explain COVID-19 to young children and those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

How to respond to COVID-19 when it affects your family. This article offers practical psychological advice if schools close or someone in our family is affected by COVID-19.

CBBC Coronavirus Questions & Answers with Dr Chris & Dr Xand. This handy Q&A aims to help children feel less concerned about the virus by teaching them more about it.

How to talk to your anxious child or teen about Coronavirus by the Anxiety and depression Association of America. This article covers some general communication tips to help parents and carers with conversations about Coronavirus. It also highlights some of the different factors in determining how children and young people may respond to the developing situation.

Talking to Teens About Coronavirus by Harvard Medical School. This blog goes through some questions frequently asked by teens. Just bear in mind that the British context on school closures is different.

Coronavirus Factsheets by Supporting Parents and Children Emotionally (SPACE). These downloadable factsheets cover topics from staying safe to resilience and understanding emotions with tips for parents and carers.

Teaching children about washing their hands

This video is a great visual for teaching children why it is important to regularly wash your hands with soap.

Other reliable sources of information

You can find up to date guidance for adults on the situation in the UK online: