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How should I talk to my elementary-aged (K-6) child about COVID-19?

We know you might be feeling some strong feelings about school being closed.  We want to give you facts about why we are not coming to school right now:
  • Right now, there is a virus called Coronavirus that is passed from person to person with their sneezes, coughs, or saliva.  If someone with the virus coughs on his hand and then touches a doorknob, and then another person touches that doorknob and touches her face, she could catch the virus.  This is why washing your hands very well is so important.
  • We all want you to be very safe!  Scientists think we should stay home and avoid big groups of people so that the virus doesn’t spread as quickly.  This is why we are staying home from school!
  • You can stay safe by washing your hands really well for at least 20 seconds. Some people like to sing songs to help them make sure that 20 seconds have passed.  Here is a challenge for you: Find a song you can sing that takes 20 seconds!  (You can use your iPad timer to help you.)
If you are feeling worried about this, that is normal.  You can always talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. 
Here are some other things for you to try.  You can try a different one each day if you would like!
Make a List of Trusted Adults Write down or draw a picture of at least three adults in your life that you can talk to when you are feeling strong feelings such as worried.  You can keep this list somewhere safe so that you have it if you need it.
Breathing Strategies Practice one of the following breathing strategies to help you settle your mind and body so that you can feel calm and peaceful. 
Big Belly Breaths Lie down on your back on the floor and place a small stuffed animal or cup on your belly.  Take a deep breath in and try to use your belly to make the stuffed animal or cup raise up.  Watch the stuffed animal or cup lower as you breath out.  Repeat this three times.
Candle Breathing Imagine you’re holding a candle in your hand.  Take a long breath in and then sloowly blow the air out toward your candle.  Try not to blow your candle out, just make the flame wiggle.  Repeat this two more times, long breath in, slooooow breath out. Now blow out your candle.

Four Square Breathing Use the box below to practice four square breathing.  Run your finger across the square while practicing the breathing techniques.

Practice your Calming-Down Steps Pick a feeling from this list:
Irritated, scared, worried, upset, frustrated
Think of a time you felt that feeling in a strong way.
Stop and name the feeling you have.  (“I feel worried.”)
Practice breathing that makes your tummy move out when you breathe in, and in when you breathe out.
Breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth.  It should be so quiet that you can hardly hear it.

Now that you have stopped, named your feeling, and tried a calming strategy, notice if you feel more relaxed.

Find Fun! When you are feeling worried, it can help to do something fun!  What are some things you especially enjoy doing?  Here are some ideas:
Play a board game (or design your own!).
Take a walk outside or ride your bike!
Paint, draw, or build something new!
FaceTime or call a friend or family member to catch up and see how they have been spending their time.
Let Your Worries Go! If you are still feeling like you can’t stop thinking about the worries you have try one of the following activities to help you feel more relaxed and calmer.
Worry Box
Create a “worry box” by decorating a box with a small hole in the top.
Fold sheets of paper into 4ths
When worries come up in your head write them down on the paper and place them in the box.
Once the worry is in the box try to leave it there.
Worry Time
Ask a trusted adult to sit down with you to listen to your worries. 
Set a timer on your IPad or another device for 3 minutes.
Start the timer and share your worries with your trusted adult. (Note to Adults: Do not spend time trying to fix these worries, just listen)
When the timer goes off take a deep breath and move on to a new activity!
Throw it Away
Write on a piece of paper whatever it is that is worrying you.
Crumble it up and throw it away!
Visualize in your mind that the worry is gone.


Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665

  • HSE Schools wants to hear from you! To send a general inquiry to the District Administration Office, click here. 

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides educational opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.