Questions Young Children Maybe Asking About at the Moment

Questions Young Children Maybe Asking About at the Moment

Things are changing rapidly, and people may be feeling anxious. Young children could have questions, or you may see changes in their behaviour. This may happen even if you have kept them away from the current news cycle. Here are some suggested age-appropriate responses for some of their possible questions.

Why can’t we go on play dates?

“We have to take a break from playing with others so we can all stay healthy.”

Why are we washing our hands all the time?

“Part of looking after our bodies is keeping clean. One way we do this is washing our hands after we go to the toilet, go out of the house, before we eat and when we touch something dirty or messy.”

I see you cleaning a lot at home and when we go out, why is everyone doing this?

“Just like our bodies we need to keep things clean to keep us healthy and strong.”

Why can’t I have a turn with other children’s toys?

“We can’t play with other children’s toys right now, so we can all stay healthy.”

Why is that person wearing a mask?

“Sometimes people wear masks when they aren’t feeling well.”

You can acknowledge that something different is happening without going into detail. Tell them we need to change what we do, and this may change every day. Just as you normally do, let them know in advance what to expect instead, for example “You’re going to be staying home a bit more for a little while, instead of going to playgroup or the pool. This morning we’ll go outside for a walk and then we’ll have a snack time.”

Things that help

  • Try and keep to a day to day routine, if this has changed for your family keep talking to your child about the changes in a simple way.
  • Keep mealtime routines as normal as possible, for example if you are working from home keep to lunch and snack breaks.
  • Take a break from the news cycle yourself.
  • Finding activities that you can do at home like puzzles and games. Try and keep to a routine of playtime, sleep time and mealtimes.
  • Organise a virtual “play date” via skype or facetime. This may help children feel connected to friends.
  • Reach out to others yourself – call a friend.

The latest advice around COVID-19 can be found on the Tasmanian Government's Public Health page

More information about Talking to Children about COVID-19

Contact Beyond Blue for mental health and well being support.