Big Changes & Big Feelings: How to Help Kids Deal with the Coronavirus

Amy Goodchild photo

April 07, 2020

By Amy Goodchild

Categories: In the Community, Kids & Families

All of us have been struggling to find balance and routine in our “new normal” due to the coronavirus. For parents with young children, these changes present a different set of challenges.

Children seek the security and normalcy of routines. When those routines are disrupted so completely, as they have been the past few weeks, it can cause children to be scared, sad, anxious, or angry.

They may not understand why they can’t go to the park or library or school. They may feel some anxiety about not having a “normal” routine. They may be angry that fun plans have been cancelled. They may be frightened about things they hear about the coronavirus.

All of these are totally normal and expected responses for children (and adults, too). Luckily, there are many resources available to help parents and children navigate the emotions of these difficult times. Here are a few of them:


daniel tiger helpers


Helpful resources for kids

Even though the library is closed, hundreds of books can still be accessed via Hoopla and other online collections. (Learn more at our Download & Stream page.) Some of the emotions your children may be feeling at this time include the I Have Feelings series, Feeling Scared, and When I Feel Sad.

Sesame Street has put together many wonderful resources to help kids, including a video of Elmo talking about how hard it is to be away from friends. There are coloring pages, videos, information for creating routines for the “For Now Normal,” and so many other great things to check out.

The Fred Rogers Center has resources to help talk to kids about coronavirus, as does Scholastic.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, based on the characters and spirit of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, is a wonderful resource for so many situations involving kids’ emotions. Some appropriate songs and episodes for this current situation include:

There is no doubt this is a challenging time for kids and adults alike. Luckily, with some help from favorite characters, books, and other sources, we can all get through it together.

Amy Goodchild is a Youth Services Associate at Morton Grove Public Library.