Pandemic parenting: 5 steps for talking to your kids about coronavirus

Psychiatrist Janet Taylor discusses why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to initiate conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic with kids.
6:42 | 03/18/20

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Transcript for Pandemic parenting: 5 steps for talking to your kids about coronavirus
V crushing moments facing so many of the nation's families it's not easy talking to your children about the corona virus emergency and then. Being honest about the disappointments and frustrations that. Come with missing out on so much many kids stressing over. This proms and graduation and your kids probably sounding a lot like teen influence or Alexi jade take a listen. And senior. And rank missile command saying this is does need advanced yearly graduating. Get in on a panel lions please and thank you don't cancel pro. And grad name. And senior trip. And so walked arm Steve took. King gradually. Maybe we just all praying. Blatant. And them. I'm weren't depressed honestly. Now psychiatrists Janet Taylor joins us now are from Sarasota Florida in fact that just sounded like my household I have. A house full of teenagers who have been absolutely. Crying and and depressed for shores so I want to get your expertise doctor Taylor. Because you know the right things to say we actually did have to have a family meeting and really talk about what's happening because. On one hand they're not necessarily even taking this seriously as they should because they're kids and they don't know better but whether you're talking to teens or young children. I know you have some helpful advice for those of us were trying to explain so much. Well as she said I mean we're stressed his parents and our kids are stressed and fearful. And with good reason but it's a real old really a good opportunity to talk about and process. Their feelings and have them understand what it means for you to listen. But also to give them real information about their issues because away or brain works when worst dressed and we can talk about real information. Then it lessen he anxiety because otherwise our brains go haywire and try to fill in the blanks and that's Lindh as lets you said you can get. Depressed or just not know when the ends going to be. And doctor Taylor act police learned so much from you when you've been here in New York. But you know I have college senior whose graduation is probably not gonna happen and what's your advice for parents not to project Arab feelings on tap our children I mean they're upset enough about it as it is but. We've had that experience so in some ways we're probably more upset about it comes so what are some tips in comic and worse. Well now's the time I think as parents transparency is key and if we're disappointed for our children that we should say we're disappointed. But it's also time to maintain perspective and understand and help them understand by pointing out real examples that right now everybody is losing something. People are losing jobs you know it's understand about discipline about graduation prom. As a tease I mean everything is haywire and to just really be up front about it. But the key is to say listen as a family as a unit we are in this together and I think one good analogy is. If you look at a class and look and looking at corona virus and what's happening right now. As a class you know what the end goal is the end goal is to have a healthy nation healthy family but right now there are things we have to do. And light homework which is equivalent of knowing the symptoms of corona virus knowing where you get treatment and knowing what prevention is and together step by step. We will find a way as a family. Doctor Taylor I wanted to ask you this we're doing all of that we settled those things we have a real scheduled to we're starting actually today for homework an exercise in trying debt. Make things as scheduled as we possibly can in these uncertain times but. I my eighth grader was so upset about missing her big. Dance and her graduation and the play where she had one of the leads in. And so I gave for something to look forward to I said when this is all over and everybody's safe and healthy I'll take you and your friends a Six Flags for. And she completely brightened up is is that. Something that we can do to give our give something to look forward to at the end of it. I mean you it's again the answer she brightened up in you know there's no right or wrong right now because every day is something new. But hat like deferring gratification. Deferment or ward certainly as a part of it. Because that helps her and hopefully it did understand that her feelings are valid but there's something a look forward to and I hope is a big part of this but. You know. It it's it every day is different and so I think it is important to understand what the values and her value is to be happy to spend time with her friends and you gave her that hope. And doctor Taylor what about you know at you always say in this is really important anytime you're talking about kids or teens. It has to be age appropriate but one thing that I can crosses age lines here is. Kids of any age who are used to literally. Being entertained having things set out for them like a menu of options now they're basically on a home. Confinement shelter and please see no dramatic change to their day to day life. My answer in my household Ryan again college kids is. I'm not your cruise director on not your entertainment coordinator figured out if your board alpha the ties the bookshelf. Oh lead when. Is this where we're seeing the consequences of parents who have just bent over backwards for their children's entire lives to provide for them and now. You know they're seeing you know that that's not always possible. Let me I think every parent wants to have a child who has more than they had but it's a real opportunity to reset and we have over schedule and over indulge our kids in many ways. But as an opportunity to reset and say listen you at this clocked a time I need you to write a schedule and where you can have some accountability. I will help you with that but it's on you so. In a way as we are adapting to life with corona virus our kids are having to adapt and say you know. There's don't know school although organize games what truly do within our time and so hopefully. It will help them understand the value of their own time the importance of having structure and schedule and they will recognize that without obstruction of schedule they may be more stressed and anxious but when they have done something for our productive hurt for two hours. They'll realize you know I like I survive this so I think it's an opportunity to. We learn our own parenting skills that help them become more adaptive as as young people. I think that's great that's the other time I tell my daughter right now we she did not look I've got my whole schedule down tomorrow. Rit now and she felt some relief to she took some control back to shall we appreciate it doctor Janet Taylor as always thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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