Much about the current situation with COVID-19 is out of our immediate, direct control and has potentially life-altering consequences. This can be a recipe for feeling helpless and afraid. Yet, our experience with the PACT Program, as clinicians who work with parents managing life-threatening illnesses to support their children, has taught us that finding ways to talk about what might at first feel unthinkable, can provide comfort, enhance control, and diminish fear.
In that spirit, we offer thoughts about how parents might begin to talk to children about some of the very difficult situations that could come up during this pandemic. We use a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) format to make it easy to skip to the information you need most.
Families are of course different in many ways—their comfort in talking about painful possibilities, their preferences for supporting each other through words, actions, or both, their connection to a faith tradition that can provide comfort and meaning during crises. We hope that you can take what is offered here and adapt it to your own family’s needs and style and that this information helps you feel more able to start these conversations.