When this is over, we’ll go to your favorite playground, my baby. We’ll stay until the sun sets and I’ll push you on your favorite swing. Or I’ll teach you how to pump your legs like you were learning before this pandemic started and I’ll watch as your face lights up with joy and excitement as you swing yourself through the air. Delighted at how high you’re flying.
How can we help young children understand more about social distancing and wearing masks? This might seem like an impossible dilemma for parents of active and social kids. Part of child development is learning how to play, share, talk, and tumble together, and it’s hard to push kids to modify these sweet moments of interaction in response to COVID-19. As cities emerge from their shelter-in-place orders, the complexities of playdates and summer camps might be confusing for everyone to navigate.
How does all this affect children? No doubt some of my readers would have quite a bit of insight to offer! The situations readers are dealing with are no doubt highly diverse. All I can offer are general guidelines. These rely on what psychologists have learned from prior public crises (e.g., the 9/11 attacks, earthquakes, and some others). I thank my colleague Linda Schmidt, M.D., for helpful insights.
Children vary so much in their verbal and social-emotional development that even two kids who share the same chronological age may have very different ways of understanding or expressing complex problems. The goal is to break it down in ways that are simple, but meaningful.
Every afternoon Flora, 9, and Kate, 10, turn on their laptops and iPads to collaborate on a play called “World War III,” a futuristic tale of two sisters who try to save the world after being blown back in time by a bomb.
Doctors and nurses are on the front lines of the war against coronavirus, going into battle on a daily basis against a deadly enemy. They’re putting their own health on the line to treat their patients and keep the rest of us safe.
Four days before President Trump declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency, and Americans across the country prepared to hunker down, my ex-husband called to say someone in his building had tested positive for Covid-19.