Use COVID-19 to build better family communication

Strengthen emotional resilience and create a more open, trustworthy parent-child relationship

UNICEF
Davy Nicholson and son Zachary
Contributed
07 April 2020

Communicating about certain topics with your child(ren) can sometimes be challenging. Equally, it be can be an opportunity to build a more open, trustworthy parent-child relationship. Parenting during COVID-19 is no different.

We want to help you to turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to grow closer build emotional resilience and strengthen communication within your family. Here are our top suggestions:

  • Offer reassurance to help your children cope with the stress by making opportunities for them to play and relax. Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible.
  • Be honest by explaining the facts in a way that is easy to understand for children.
  • Provide loving guidance and support in a way that encourages children and does not hurt their self-esteem.
  • Prevent stigma by using facts and reminding children to be considerate of one another. Explain that coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where they are from or what language they speak.
  • Take care of yourself. Children will pick up on your own response to the news, so it helps them to know you are calm and in control. If you are feeling anxious or upset, take time for yourself and reach out to other family, friends and trusted people in your community.

We have some additional resources for you and will continue to add more to our dedicated COVID-19 webpage. There you can find lots of help including: 

  • Video tips
  • At-home learning resources
  • Games you can play with your family 
  • A child-friendly activity guide
  • A quiz to test your COVID-19 knowledge
  • An invitation to join a series of #LearningAtHome challenges on social media – together with families from across the Latin America and Caribbean region.  
UNICEF Jamaica