Explaining the COVID Christmas Rules to Children

Are you dreading explaining that Covid-19 trumps Christmas to your children this year? Fear not, for Yoopies has created the Guide to how to manage the holidays with children given the current restrictions.

Just like the rest of 2020, this Christmas is going to be different for all of us, with many of our favourite holiday traditions being put on hold due to Government restrictions.

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Whilst a Covid Christmas with no large family gatherings or office Christmas parties may sound like a dream come true for some, those who are disappointed at the prospect of a quieter Christmas will hopefully at least understand that it is all necessary to protect ourselves and others from the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, this may not be the case for many of our little ones! Read on for some possible answers to difficult questions in the current climate.

Is it safe for Father Christmas to be travelling all around the world?

Children will have probably picked up on the concepts of travel bans, quarantining, cancelled holidays abroad or perhaps they have been away and experienced all the changes with air travel and will be worried what this means for Father Christmas and his infamous flight around the globe on Christmas Eve.

“Yes he’s using lots of hand sanitiser and he has been quarantining in the North Pole for months now.”

“He’s going to quarantine afterwards and take his coronavirus tests before and after his journey to ensure he’s safe and responsible.”

“All the Governments have made a special rule to allow him this one night but after that it’s back to following the guidelines just like everyone else.”

“The elves have devised a contactless delivery schedule just like the postman and delivery drivers, they will drop the presents off in a Covid secure way!”

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Why are there rules this Christmas?

“Unfortunately, even though it’s Christmas, people are still getting ill and we need to help make sure everyone is safe and healthy.”

Read the ‘Children’s guide to coronavirus’ for the best ways to explain the pandemic to your children. Perhaps they were too young to understand during the first lockdown, but may have more questions now or simply need a reminder.

I’m scared of the virus

Whilst it’s natural to want to shield our children from anything that might scare or upset them – if you’ve managed to avoid the topic or skim the subject until now, this holiday could be a good time to explain the virus properly to avoid confusion and upset.

It is also important to explain that the virus has not gone away even though it is Christmas time, but this does not mean that we cannot have fun over the holidays.

If children have questions about the new strain of the virus, emphasise that it can be prevented and stopped in the same way as before, by washing your hands, wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance from others.

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School aged children will have picked up a lot of information from their peers and school surrounding already, but make sure to clarify any scientific jargon you are using and make sure what you say is factual and simple.

Depending on the age of your child keep the language safe and appropriate, remaining factual but sensitive to their age and emotions.

Depending on your situation you may have been directly affected by the virus to different degrees, again for more information and advice refer to the ‘Children’s guide to Coronavirus’.

Why can’t we see grandparents this Christmas?

Explain that there are rules in place this Christmas to only allow small groups of people who live nearby to be together this Christmas in order to stop germs spreading and keep everyone safe.

If you are in a tier 4 area, focus on all the electronic communication you can have with friends and family and be honest, yes it’s sad that we cannot spend time with others this Christmas but it is to keep those we love safe and sound.

Emphasise that the people who are not present this Christmas would have loved to be there, but are trying to be safe and follow the rules. Also explain that certain people haven’t been chosen over others out of preference, it’s nothing the children have done wrong, there are just limits on the numbers.

“But I want to see them – we haven’t seen them all year”

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It’s important not to make false promises or encourage bending the rules, so try to manage expectations of children, set out clearly who is going to be there and how you’re going to contact those who aren’t if someone is missing. Put a positive spin on the situation, perhaps this will be the best Christmas yet with lots of time to play games together at home!

It’s hard, children will be disappointed, sad and possibly angry too, but trying to find the positives remains important, as does distraction and lots of cuddles, movies and silly games.

If you’re a key worker and need help with childcare this festive period, check out the #CaringChristmas volunteer campaign here.

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