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Child Psychologist Says Parents Should Have Honest Conversations With Kids About Pandemic

May 5, 2020

Children of all ages are having a hard time processing how coronavirus has changed their lives.

Psychologist Kimberly Renk said parents can help kids organize those feelings. But the University of Central Florida professor said parents first need to assess how they're being affected by the pandemic.

“Am I having a struggle? Do I need to do anything for me to be more effective with my children?” Renk said. “And then take care of themselves first, and that then puts them in a safe place where they can then help their children manage whatever feelings they are having.”

Renk shared her advice Tuesday on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

She said there's no playbook for parents dealing with the unprecedented situations brought on by coronavirus.

Parents should trust themselves, she said, because they know their children best and should have honest conversations about the pandemic that are appropriate to a child's age and understanding. 

To see the full conversation and more of her advice, click the link below. Also, visit The State We're In Facebook page.

This story is produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.