What to respond to a child worried about whether the coronavirus is going to prevent the Three Kings from reaching


MADRID

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Many children wonder these days if they will finally be able to come home to the Three Wise Men. Not in vain do they hear daily news about the coronavirus, about the absence of horseback riding, they hear their parents talking at dinner about whether or not to travel to see their grandparents in another autonomous community … «It is a very complex situation. On the one hand, we always think that the children are not there, but they are and also even if it seems that they are not, learning about everything that happens. It seems that they are not aware but they know about the pandemic, the virus, the strange situation that we are experiencing all this year, and they understand many things. Another thing is that they show what they know or know. But on the other hand, we must know that they adapt much faster than us to situations. They have that capacity, that point of becoming aware and turning everything around. They do not have as many recurring thoughts as adults, so they resolve much better “, says Montserrat Amorós, psychologist and teacher of the Infant and Primary Degrees of the International University of La Rioja ( LINK).

That said, this expert wonders, how to deal with the limitations that are imposed this Christmas with children in a positive way? «That we all have to believe in the magic of these dates, and explain to the children that the magic of Christmas continues, they should not lose their illusion. We are at the beginning of December and it is the time of the children, who are always the great forgotten. Everything that can be done from home to promote it, the better. This is their moment, and more after what they have lived». From the schools, Montserrat Amorós continues, «they are working in this line of celebrating Christmas, with caution, of course, and families have to row in the same direction. That is to say, take out the Advent calendars, count the days that remain, set up the Nativity scene, take out the tree and all the decorations… ».

The idea, explains this expert, “is to be clear that although the cavalcades of the Magi are not going to be represented, for example, follow the son to our children, and try to make them enjoy it at all times. Otherwise, it is true, but enjoy. We must not lose the sense of Christmas, the essence … And take advantage of the fact that we do not need to see to believe. For this reason, if the child asks if the Magi will be able to come, answer that of course they will be able to come, with great precautions, but that they will get home. Although perhaps this is also the time, suggests this teacher, “to explain that materially, perhaps this year will also be different, due to the economic situation many families are experiencing as a result of the pandemic. But always, always, always trying to safeguard the illusion ».

The same is true of the physical distances that will exist with other family members. This expert recommends that children do not stop seeing their relatives, “because it is very important that they see each other, but that they resort to the use of digital technologies.” “We already did it during confinement and now in many cases we will have to use them again. For example, to see grandparents or cousins ​​who reside in other regions. Let’s take advantage of video calls on Zoom, Facetime, Teams, Meet or WhatsApp… and save the physical contact for later.

«We must tell the truth to the children, it is true that adapting to their logic, but explain to them that it is an exceptional situation, and that as we have done on previous occasions, we are going to protect ourselves and we are going to protect others and not we are going to have the personal contact we have had in previous years ». The ideal is, Montserrat Amorós concludes, “to try to think about other things different from the reality that we have had to live and to try to enjoy, even in other ways. And if we see it and live it through children, all the better.

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