We just don’t know when this pandemic will be over and when it will be safe to have large gatherings again.
So what to tell the kids when their birthday party is put on hold.
By now, they know something about the virus. Their sports, school, religious, and other activities have all been canceled. So, where do you start and how do you answer the questions. The first thing to do, according to Dr. Nia Heard-Garris, M.D., an attending physician at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, is to assess what your child knows. Do they think the Grim Reaper is coming for Grandma, or do they think this is just a cold nothing to take too seriously? You might have to correct some misconceptions. You might have some yourself. Listening to the reports, I confess that I sometimes don’t know myself.
If you are confused, it’s probably best to see what the CDC says about the Coronavirus. Here’s a link to their site. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
When you’re ready to discuss the situation with your child, make sure you’re not panicky, and you can talk without creating undue anxiety for your child. Abi Gewirtz, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and professor at the University of Minnesota, says, “We don’t want our children to feel like the world is so scary, because that might keep them from being curious and engaged.”
Dr. Gewitz also says not to dismiss their fears with a simple, “You’ll be fine.” She says, “Listen to them and track what the child is feeling.” Calmly say something like, “That sounds pretty scary, I can see it in your face.” Then proceed to correct misconceptions, let them know about the virus, why we are forced to stay home, why and how to practice social distancing, and about good hygiene but at an age-appropriate level.
Regarding the birthday party, you can plan to postpone it but, it’s anyone’s guess when you’ll be able to reschedule it or when it will be safe to have a house full of kids to your home. As an alternative, you can plan a smaller event for the immediate family or take advantage of Zoom, Facetime, or Google Hangouts and bring family and friends together virtually. Many businesses are stepping in to fill the gap and help with virtual birthday party options.
Here are a few ideas.
Miss Jamie from the Farm
Country singer, Miss Jamie, will live-streamed a full 30-minute interactive concert, contact Miss Jamie for rates.
Royal Princess Parties
Royal Princess Parties are letting your children have a video chat with their favorite princess or superhero. Chats are 10 minutes long and cost $30. You can book your session on their website (scroll to the lower blue banner). Combine this with one of their princess party packs ($20), and you have the perfect at-home experience.
Happy Little Flame
For an older child, Happy Little Flame has just launched a DIY candle kit. They will send you everything you need to make clean-burning, non-toxic candles. These kits offer a creative, educational, and interactive outlet that teaches patience, precision, and the importance of following instructions.
Nanny Nicki is offering personalized videos sent directly to the email of your choosing! A couple of songs, a story, and some other general silliness customized just for your favorite little person! Contact Nanny Nikki today for details! firstname.lastname@example.org OR 224-212-0654.
The Silly Magician
Mike, The Silly Magician (yes me), offers a 30-minute interactive virtual magic show. From the comfort of your home and the homes of your invited guests, Mike will perform some “germ-free” head-scratching magic guaranteed to delight young and old alike. Call 631-757-2236 for details.