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Coronavirus Anxiety: How To Talk To Children About The Outbreak

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The coronavirus outbreak is making parents and children alike feel anxious.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Robin Goodman explains how you can ease your kid's fears as the virus spreads.

"The first thing is you want to know your child. Also, think about their age. The littler the child, the less the words. The bigger the child, the more words," she told CBSN New York's Natalie Duddridge. "The littler, they don't process the information, they make fantasies and things. Where older kids will hear rumors. You want to be the source of information and reassurance."

Some other tips:

  • Be honest: Be careful about giving too much detail, find out what they know.
  • Be age appropriate: Tailor the information.
  • Be in the know: Know what your kids are watching and hearing then correct, monitor, limit, review together as necessary.
  • Be attentive: Parents should listen to children's specific worries.
  • Be open and available for questions, allow expression of feelings and how to cope.
  • Be careful managing your own fears: Parents can model appropriate coping.
  • Be aware and review your own family safety plans.
  • Be hopeful: Share and look for stories about the good, help others.

Watch the full interview above for more.

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