Hello my lovelies! Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. We’re all living in a world that feels pretty uncertain and we’re having to make up a lot as we go. If we’re having trouble adjusting as adults, just think about how tough it might be for your kids. They have a lot less control over their world and that sometimes makes it harder for them to understand everything that’s going on in the world.
If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably found yourself fielding a lot of questions about why things are the way they are and when they’re going to “get back to normal.” I’m guessing you’ve handled many questions well and have been able to give your kids answers.
But what happens when you don’t know the answer? When your kids ask if/when they’re going back to school, when they’ll be able to be with their friends again, when they’ll be able to return to sports/activities that have been cancelled or changed, or when the family vacation will happen, you may not be able to give them an answer. What about when they ask you if they’ll get sick like so many other people or whether the things they see/hear on the news will happen to them or their loved ones?
First things first, don’t panic!
Remind yourself that, realistically, it’s not possible for you to be able to answer all your kids’ what if/why/when/how questions. So the good news is that you’ve already had experience with this. Kids are really good at asking questions we don’t know the answers to or things we aren’t ready or aren’t sure how to talk about.
Here are some other tips for talking to your kids when things are uncertain:
Most importantly, it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” That’s a perfectly acceptable answer when you truly don’t know. Then, talk with your kids about your plans for either figuiring out the answers or coping with the stress of “wait and see.” It can be tough not to have all the answers, but your kids will benefit from watching how you use positive coping skills and from talking with you about how to manage uncertainty.
Tell us how you talk with your kids about an uncertain future. Leave a comment below, click this link or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a printable version of this post.
As a reminder, we have an amazing handout for families with information about COVID-19 that you may find helpful when speaking with your kids. Click here to take a look.
Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.