How Do We Talk About People Who Get Sick and Do Not Recover?

Third in our Blog series on the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and your children with Dr. Robin Gurwitch, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Duke University Medical Center.

“Discussing death with children is often frightening for adults as we may struggle with what to say,” Gurwitch acknowledges. But that does not mean that these conversations are not important. In fact, it is incredibly important that we do not shy away from these conversations.

Here’s an example of language you can use while talking to your child: “Even though doctors and nurses and everyone are working to keep us well, sometimes, sadly, it is not possible and people die. Together, we are doing all we can to keep ourselves well.”

Gurwitch stresses that you should “never promise children/teens that you or they will not get sick.”

“We cannot guarantee that we can keep this promise,” she explains. Adding, “When we make any promise that is broken, our children’s sense of trust in us is compromised, they are less likely to bring us concerns in the future and they are less likely to trust our responses.”

Let us help at Growing Child Pediatrics if you are having any problems with your child.