Talking Faith at home: Coronavirus

You can’t avoid the news of the coronavirus at the moment. It’s the topic of conversations at work, at school and with strangers, and the media is full of information about how so many parts of the world are being affected.

There’s so much concern and anxiety surrounding this topic at the moment that our children are bound to have lots of questions, and might be wondering where God is in the situation – as we may be, too. It’s difficult to process and understand – but that’s exactly what we want to help our children to do.

For the last couple of weeks there has barely been a day that my children haven’t come home with some new rumour or thought about the coronavirus. They are washing their hands like they never have before (now there’s a positive in all this!) and they are naturally a little fearful. As my kids are a bit older (seven and nine), we have started to watch Newsround together and then talk through questions that arise. We don’t have all the answers, but we can show them that sometimes we can get worried and fearful and explain how we deal with those feelings. We can let them know that we can follow the advice that experts are giving, and we can ask God to help us trust in him and to give us peace. Plus giving them a safe environment to share their concerns is really healthy.

There’s also an opportunity here to explore truth in scripture to help. We don’t know what is going to happen, but we can cast all our cares on God because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Even though life is tough sometimes, and bad things happen we can trust God because he is with us (Psalm 23:4).

One of the scriptures from the Bible Society’s Lent Challenge 2020 last week was Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Speaking out truth with our children will help them see that God has given us the Bible to help us at times like these.

And we can pray. When we don’t understand – God does. We can pray together for those affected, and for wisdom for the government, doctors and scientists. We can bring God into this situation that is out of our control and understanding.

We can also look for help on the practical aspects of talking to our children about difficult topics. Here are a couple of links with more thoughts on talking to children about the coronavirus:

Coronavirus: Keep it simple, stick to facts – how parents should tell kids.

CDC – Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019

Parenting for Faith also have a great blog on how to help our kids process the news. They are also hosting a Facebook live session on Monday 16 March at 8pm where they’ll be looking at Faith and coronavirus – What do we tell the kids? You can ask questions and see how other parents are approaching it too.

It’s a tricky topic, but we’re praying that God will give all parents wisdom and help to be able to talk with our children and grow in faith as we trust him in the midst of it.

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