D6 Families: Tips for talking with your children about Ebola
The presence of Ebola in our community has brought about much fear and anxiety. While we may attempt to shield our children from the media coverage, it is likely that our children, particularly of school age, will or already have become aware of this serious health issue.
Providing resources to parents is one way in which we, as a church, hope to partner with parents. To that end, we would like to provide you with a few tips on talking with your children about Ebola as published by The American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Consider your child’s maturity level and coping style. Generally, older children are more ready for information than younger ones. And like adults, some children need more information to handle issues, while others worry more if they have a lot of information.
- Ask your children what they have already heard and understand about Ebola. Ask them what other information they would like, and use any misinformation they have given you to guide your responses.
- Be factual and honest. Help children understand the differences between the common illnesses they have encountered and rare, localized diseases like Ebola. It isn’t helpful or effective to provide graphic details.
- If you are unsure of an answer, explain to your child that you don’t know. If it is still of interest, offer to look the answer up for them, or, if the question is suitable, help them to look it up.
- Remain calm and confident. Your children notice your attitude. Don’t tell children they “shouldn’t worry.” Rather, support them as they learn to overcome their fears.
As children and adults alike are looking for ways to help, we believe there is nothing more powerful than prayer. Here are a few verses that Rev. Andrew Forrest shared last night at the Munger Place Church Prayer Service. I hope that you may find these helpful as you pray for the victims as well as the healthcare and government workers who are hard at work to protect us.
- Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
- There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18a
- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
Let us continue to pray for healing for all who are suffering and for those who are on the front lines working to protect our community.