Reviews | How to Talk to Children about Covid Vaccines

No matter how certain you are about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, getting a new vaccine in your child’s arm is a tough decision. As adults, we can show children that life is full of difficult decisions and show how we have learned to approach them. We can teach them that it is our responsibility to take care of others, even if it costs us something. We can show them how we deal with anxiety.

Conversation of opinion
Questions around the Covid-19 vaccine and its deployment.

The children are still watching us. This is what Michele Borba, educational psychologist and reminded me of the author of “Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine,” reminded me. “The first way kids learn values, how they learn to manage life, how they learn resilience – they need a role model, and they listen to us more than we ever realize “she told me. “A lot of kids say, ‘My parents can tell me to be calm, but they’re not.’ So we say one message when we send another.

The same goes for the way we talk about others in front of our children, Dr. said Borba. We fail to model empathy when we preach kindness and then disparage other parents for their choices. Kindness and empathy, she said, are built over time, over many small conversations based on curiosity about how other people see the world. She referred to the work of Samuel Oliner, a sociologist and altruism expert, and his interviews with rescuers who risked their lives to help Jews at risk in Europe during World War II. A common thread, she said, was a family culture based on empathy and helping others.

In his own more recent research, Dr Borba interviewed a group of teenagers in Illinois who told him they were dealing with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic by making gift bags filled with cookies. and handwritten notes for students they worried about during distance education and confinement. The appraisal phone calls, some in tears, made them feel better and more connected. “Empathy nurtures crucial abilities that help children cope with stress,” she told me. “Empathy in action is the antidote – to do something.”

One way to act for children is to get vaccinated when they have access to it. We can recognize that getting the vaccine can be scary and our arms can be sore, and we can feel lousy for a day or two, but it’s a small price to pay to help our whole community stay well. health, especially immunocompromised people. , old or sick. Getting the vaccine is also a way to help protect people who choose not to – and it shows that we see their value as humans and care about their well-being, even though we do. do not agree with them.

About Chris McCarter

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