I had to stop my four-year-old from running up and petting a neighbors dog yesterday – all in the name of social distancing.
Social distancing is a new concept that most children just don’t understand what it is or why it’s important. I wrote a short social story about social distancing that I’m going to talk about. You can download it at the bottom of this post.
Helping Children Understand Social Distancing
Right now, our kids lives are turned upside down.
They’re stuck inside without fully understanding why. They suddenly can’t go to school, see their friends, or their family.
Their entire routine changed overnight. Now there are all these new rules they’ve never had to follow before.
That’s something that even adults are struggling to cope with right now.
Parents can find reliable and up to date information on the WHO website here.
Social Distancing Story
This is short social story designed for young children.
It explains that we have to do things a bit differently right now to keep everybody safe, and reassures them that it’s only temporary, that their parents will take care of them, and lists some activities they can do.
The story starts off by explaining some of the changes we’re all facing right now. Staying home, missing family and friends, school and sports being canceled, etc.
The story acknowledges that this might be scary for kids.
The printable story explains why we are staying home, and offers reassurance that children are safe at home and that this is temporary.
It gives kids a few ideas of things they can do at home during this time.
This would be a good time for you to stop and brainstorm some other activities that your kids can do, too.
The story finishes up by reminding kids again that they’re safe, and that this is temporary. They’ll see their family, teachers, and friends again.
You can make a list with your child about all the fun things you want to do as soon as this is over and everything is open again.
We’re looking forward to walking at the beach, hiking, going to a water park, the exhibition, etc.
Download the Story
Get a free printable PDF of this story so you can read it and help reassure your children.
Keeping a conversation about COVID-19 and social distancing open and encouraging logical thinking will help your child to understand everything better while lessening their anxiety.