· ·

How To Talk To Your Teens About COVID-19

talk to your teenager about coronavirus covid-19


How To Talk To Your Kids About Coronavirus


One mom shared today in our community how her daughter had a meltdown wondering how she was going to make it through the next 6 weeks without being able to see friends and being forced to hang out only with her sister (sibling fighting anyone?). Her daughter was expressing how afraid she was about all the shutdowns and how it was going to impact the economy and people’s livelihood. The mom was unsure how to help her daughter cope with all her BIG feelings when she was barely coping herself.

It’s not easy. Moms are asking the question, “How do I help my child cope when I’m feeling overwhelmed with having my kids home and everything else that goes along with it.”


Here are 5 tips and questions you can use to talk to your teens and tweens about COVID-19:


Check-in with yourself first.

How are you feeling about COVID19 right now? Has it got you worried and freaked out? If the answer is “yes,” you’re not alone.

This whole thing has made a lot of us anxious – worried about the safety of our loved ones who are at higher risk (and we worry about our loved ones who are healthy too). There are many unknowns and rumors flying around. There’s speculation about what this might mean for our future. 

This can cause us to feel a lot of uncomfortable emotions. We all want answers and reassurance.

So what can we do?

It’s important that we don’t isolate ourselves emotionally. If you’re feeling anxious or worried, reach out to a friend or even shoot me an email sharing what’s on your heart. Our kids need us to be able to stay calm in the midst of this crisis and how do we do this? We get support for ourselves first. 


NOTE: The following questions are simply suggestions. You know your child better than anyone. This is an ongoing conversation so sprinkle questions into conversations. 

Follow their lead. If they don’t want to talk, remind them you are available if they want to talk. Invite them to ask you any questions if they have them.


Discuss the myths that are swirling around.

Our teenagers have access to social media 24/7 and rumors and myths are spreading like wildfire. These myths can feed our kid’s fears and cause them to panic. 

We have a unique opportunity to discuss the importance of seeking the truth, checking facts, discerning reliable resources and being responsible when we’re sharing information. 

You might ask questions such as…

“What have you been hearing about COVID19 from your friends or social media?”

“How do you think we can discern what’s true and what’s not?” 

“How do we know when it’s a reliable source or not?”

“What might be the negative consequences of spreading false information?”


Listen to what they have to say. Resist the urge to tell them the “right” answers. 

The goal is to get them talking and to get them to think. Acknowledge that sometimes hearing and spreading myths and rumors can be enticing and feel exciting(sort of like gossip) then you can ask something like, “But what might be the harm that can be caused when we do?”

A reliable resource on myths that are out there: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters


Allow them to express their concerns, disappointments, and fears.

When our kids share their fears the temptation is to want to reassure them right away and make them feel better. It makes sense to me that we want to do this. However, not right away.

Let them talk and listen more than anything else you do.

Jen Kehl,  my better half and business partner here at Moms of Tweens and Teens was just telling me how she gave her son some space to express his upset. What she didn’t expect was how much would come out. 

He shared his frustration and disappointment that he wouldn’t be finishing out his 8th-grade year with his peers. He is the president of the student council and was looking forward to the school dance because he was the first school president in their history to get the school to agree. 

She was surprised that what she thought would be a 5-minute discussion turned into an hour of him talking about how he felt. 

Now, what would have happened if she rushed it and shut him down immediately telling him everything would be fine?

He needed to talk and to get it out. Jen gave him a gift by allowing him to get it off his chest. 

Listening and validating our kids’ feelings is the most important thing you can do to decrease their anxiety and fears.

You might ask questions such as…

“How are you feeling about the COVID-19?”

“Does it worry you? Do you have questions or concerns?”

“What do your friends think about it? Are they nervous about it?”

“Is anyone talking about how they’re feeling?”

“I’m imagining that this must be disappointing for you to not be able to be with your friends.”

“What are you most concerned about?”

“From a scale of 1-10 – how concerned are you?”

“How do you think kids are feeling that don’t have friends at school are feeling?”


When they share how they’re feeling validate what they’re saying…

“I can see how disappointing this would be for you.”

“That makes sense that you’re feeling scared.”

“I hear you. I’m not sure what to think of all the information either.”


If you’re not sure what to say, repeat back what you hear them saying, 


“I hear that you are missing your friends. That’s hard.”

“I know it’s frustrating to have to do school at home.”


Support them to come up with things that they can control.

In times of uncertainty, when many variables are out of our control, one thing we can do is to help our kids to problem solve as a means to control what they can.  

You might ask questions such as…

“I know this is hard when you’re cooped up in the house and can’t get together with your friends (hear the validation?). What might you do to connect with them another way?”

“What are some ideas to make the most of this time?”

“How can we work together as a family?”

“What would be fun to do?”


Be patient.

You might be reading this and feeling frustrated. 

One of my clients expressed to me yesterday that her two high school boys are walled off up in their room and aren’t talking right now. 

Give them some space if they need it. Don’t feel the need to micro-manage or entertain them. 

Remember teenagers can be like cats – you chase them down and they run away. The more that you can manage your own frustration and anxiety and create some fun around your house, I’m confident that eventually, they will join you.


If you haven’t signed up here for the “Stuck Inside” Survival Kit COVID-19 Coronavirus Quarantine!



Seek to instill hope among your family

Hope doesn’t mean that everything is going to work out the way we long for them to. Hope is banding together and learning how to support one another. Hope is what gets us through when we’re facing challenges. We can use this present time and have intention and courage to emerge more resilient than ever before.


You might ask questions such as…

“What has helped us as a family in the past to find strength and comfort?”

“How might we use this time to connect as a family in more meaningful ways?”

“When you look back on this time a year or two from now, how might you want to remember it?”

I understand that sometimes tween and teens don’t always want to share answers to these questions. However, you can share how you’d like to look back on this time and the ways that you want to be intentional to use this time for good.

The goal is not to minimize our kids feelings but to strike a balance that is hopeful, reflective and honest.


And moms, I want to remind you that we are here for you. This is a very difficult time and as moms, we can feel very isolated right now. Forget the fact that we don’t talk enough as it is, now we don’t even have the other moms at activities, or school events to chat with. So I implore you, reach out to each other. And please, join our private community where you can have access to me, and all the other moms in our Inner Circle 24/7. Find out more here.


Similar Posts