News & Perspectives

News & Perspectives

How To Talk About The Coronavirus With Kids


Originally aired on WGBH News' Morning Edition

With schools and non-essential businesses closed in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, many families are feeling the strain of balancing home and work life in the midst of uncertain times. WGBH News' Morning Edition host Joe Mathieu spoke with The Children's Trust director of Family Support Training and Parent Education Rayna Charles about what parents can do to keep their kids (and themselves) calm and collected through the outbreak. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Joe Mathieu: Well, I appreciate you being with us. We hear a lot about working from home with young kids around, and we've been talking about that quite a bit. Parents of older kids have their own set of stresses — you talk 16, 17 [and] 18 year olds. In a lot of cases, they don't understand why this is going on; they want to leave the house.

Rayna Charles: That's a really good question. First off, I want all parents just to hear that they're not alone, that we're all in this together right now. Many of us have little kids, older kids, and we're all [under] stay at home orders and we're here. Some of us are trying to work from home. Some of us are just trying to get through the day.

And so it's a really great question about older kids. There's different challenges at different ages for kids, but all of our children need the reassurance and the routines that we can provide as parents because no matter your child's age, they always look to us with their cues. And so, again, I would like every parent to hear that they're not alone in what's going on and that everyday we can kind of celebrate the wins.

For some parents that means the color-coded schedule that we're seeing going around Pinterest right now is really reassuring, and for other families it means just getting through one homework assignment a day [or] watching one movie that's not related to everything that's going on. Those wins are going to look different for different families.

Read the full interview on