With a large amount of uncertainty, anxiety and negativity going around at the moment, just how do you talk about Coronavirus with your children?
We’ve put together a short guide below to help you strike up the discussion with your kids, with some personal tips from parents here at Australian Organic.
Remember, the language you use will depend entirely on your child’s age and their ability to understand and interpret the language you use in a meaningful way.
Open the discussion
You may want to start by understanding just how much your children know about the current situation. Ask them about what they think is happening, how serious they think the situation is and try to assess how they’re feeling about it all. Once you begin to understand this, you can decide how to open your discussion and what language to use.
If you child doesn’t know much about the situation, you may want to begin by describing what’s happening briefly, in a calm manner. You don’t want to overwhelm them with information. If they already know a lot about what’s happening, you may want to understand where they have been getting their information from, and how they feel about what they understand.
Language & tone
Try to use positive, reassuring language and deliver your message in a calm manner. With all of the negativity currently in the media and online, try to deliver a positive message and make it clear that you are available to talk and are here to support them. Children will need extra attention and assurance during this time.
To make it easier to understand, try using some analogies and examples. For younger children, you may find some examples from their favourite cartoon characters or TV programs. For teens, remember that their emotions may already be running high, so try not to make them feel overwhelmed and make them understand that although the situation is extraordinary, it is also manageable.
Although your choice of language is important, it’s not just about the words that you use. Your child will interpret the seriousness of the conversation and the impact on themselves according to how the message is delivered.
For example, a serious message can be delivered in a frantic panic, with lots of negative vibrations – and that will tell the child that the person they depend on is scared, so therefore they should also be scared.
The same serious message can be delivered in a factual way with reassurance and positive tones, so that the child can see that the situation is serious but the person they are depending on seems under control – so they will take the message more calmly.
No matter the age, if the leader is panicking, the followers will panic. The delivery has to be considered and delivered in a way that doesn’t express panic.
Be open & honest
It may be tempting to bend the truth to make things seem a little better than they are, but it is actually more beneficial to be open, honest and keep factual. Try not to make promises you can’t keep, and create a safe space where they can talk openly. Encourage your child to have an open dialogue with you, so you can keep track on how they’re feeling.
You can always try to make some fun out of the situation. For example, singing a song to ensure hands are washed for at least 20 seconds, downloading posters to hang up around the house to remind them of proper hygiene procedures and praising children when they cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow and remember to wash their hands.
Helping children to understand the difference between fact and ‘the story’ is sometimes hard but may be necessary to prevent unwanted panic. It’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalism of the news both on TV and online – especially those stories that are just trying to sell ‘clicks’. Understanding how to separate the two and finding the facts can also help with keeping them grounded.
Younger children may have a lot of questions about what they see on TV or online, or even what they hear in household conversations. Try to answer questions open and honestly whilst trying to remain positive. Reassuring your children as often as possible will help them to remain calm and feel safe.
Talking positively about the future
It’s important to assure kids that there is an end to this and a positive one at that. Talk about what they’d like to do once things get back to normal – where they’d like to go, people they’d like to see first etc. Give them something to look forward to, but don’t make any promises when it comes to timeframes. Just let them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
South Australia Health have developed an excellent resource to help talk to children about the Coronavirus. Download the booklet for free here.
It might be a necessity, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose your sanity! Self-isolation is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some self-reflection, forward planning and can even present the opportunity to learn something completely new.
If we all work towards looking at things in a more positive light and concentrate on helping each other, we’ll make it through this difficult time. Here’s our top tips to survive (and conquer!) self-isolation.
Keeping your daily routine is the best way to stay on the bandwagon and provide some sort of structure to your day. Think of yourself as still being at work, in the office or whatever your daily routine was prior to self-isolating. If your working week was Monday to Friday, then maintain your Monday to Friday routine and keep weekends free to relax.
Studies have shown that children react positively to routine, and by keeping up a routine it will be much easier to return to a ‘normal life’ for both you and your family.
Now is the perfect time to smash some goals. With a bit more time on your hands, you can begin working towards some goals and start to tick some things off your wishlist. Whether they are work goals, life goals, or just something you’ve always wanted to do, set yourself something achievable that you can work towards. You can even set yourself some daily goals, which could be something as simple as doing 30 minutes of exercise or learning a new word each day.
Setting goals will make sure you get things done and don’t waste the days. Which leads us to….
Learn something new
Think of something you’ve always wanted to be able to do. Paint? Bake? Speak Italian? Whatever it is, big or small, give yourself a goal of learning something new, something you haven’t had time for before and something that doesn’t require you to leave the house! Get productive with your time, you’ll miss it once it’s gone!
If you’re not already meditating on a daily basis, now is a great time to get started. Meditation doesn’t have to be full-on, it can be as simple as taking some time out to breathe, de-stress and clear your mind. Just a few minutes here and there can help to relieve anxiety and reduce stress – helping you maintain overall health and peace of mind.
Okay, so you may not be making Zumbo-style desserts anytime soon, but baking can certainly be therapeutic and calming. It is also a great activity that you can get the kids involved with. Simple baked goods such as cookies, biscuits, bread and cakes can be whipped up with your standard pantry staples, and they don’t always have to be full of sugar (although, the occasional treat won’t hurt!) It’s a skill that can be easily learned and there’s thousands upon thousands of tutorials on YouTube, so give it a try!
We know that you’re probably sick of hearing this now, but exercise should be a part of your daily routine and is hugely important to remember when you’re self-isolating. Exercising is the best way to de-stress, stay fit and healthy, boost your immune system, and counter-balance the loss of your usual physical activity. If you have a fitness watch or tracker, it might be a good idea to start keeping an eye on those steps and making sure you get a good 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise a day. Remember to get up at least once every hour and stretch your legs. Your health and your waistline will thank you for it!
Crafting is a great way to de-stress and relax the mind – yet keep it stimulated. It’s also a great activity for the kids. You can use just about anything to get crafty – old jars and containers, lollipop sticks, a needle and thread, paint and glue. Such fun and such mess will be had by all (cleaning is also relaxing, right?!)
Being stuck indoors presents the perfect opportunity to de-clutter, organise and create a more harmonious space for your to live in. Less clutter equals less stress, so be ruthless, create enough space for you, your family, and your activities and you can even finish those jobs that you wanted to do months ago. DIY time! While you’re at it, add a few mood-boosting plants, colourful pictures and even some mirrors to create the illusion of more space – if needed. You’ll wish you did it sooner!
In this time of uncertainty, we need to stay positive. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, a silver lining to those clouds, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…. you get the idea. A good way to stay positive is to start planning ahead. Plan for the future – for things you want to do, places you want to go and people you want to see when this is all over. Planning aheaed will help to keep a positive mind and gives you something to look forward to. Things will get better!
Don’t lose touch! Self-isolation can be…welll… isolating! Make sure you stay connected with friends, family, co-workers and loved ones. Chat to them often and use video calls to provide much needed face-to-face contact without the worry. Embrace technology and keep chatting – others will appreciate you getting in touch and checking in.
Remember, things will get better. But for now, try some of our tips to stay healthy, stay positive and stay optimistic.
Tamburlaine started out in an old tin shed on a modest 14-hectare Hunter vineyard. In 1985 the winery was purchased by a small group of friends and relatives led by Managing Director and Chief Winemaker, Mark Davidson. The Company is now working to build on their ‘Contemporary Organics’ vision, successfully producing award-winning organic, vegan-friendly, low sulphur and no added sulphur wines.
“The vision was formed in the late ’90s and continues today,” Mark outlined. “We believe in continuously evolving our practices. Not because it appears now to be trendy, but because it makes sense. More and more consumers agree.”
Tamburlaine’s holistic approach includes grape growing and winemaking practices based on modern scientific thinking without using the chemical inputs involved in non-organic practices. However, converting to organics has not come easily, with years of research and development presenting the team with many challenges along the way. With support from Australian Organic, Tamburlaine now leads the wine industry in their conversion of conventional vineyards to organically managed, increasing awareness amongst growers and assuring a continual supply for the growing demand of organic wines.
“With the implementation of new contemporary organic thinking, the transformation of our Hunter Valley and Orange Region vineyards is incredible. The health of the soil and the vines is very evident, consistently yielding fruit of the highest quality.” Mark explained.
From 2016, the winemaking team has removed the use of animal proteins from its wines, traditionally used throughout the industry for fining. With the conscious consumer in mind, Tamburlaine successfully extended its range to include wines without added sulphur – commercially referred to as “preservative free”. These innovative wines, which push the boundaries of conventional winemaking, have already demonstrated their success in the wine show circuit, proving that no added sulphur wines could be as high-quality (or better!) as other organic wines.
“Our markets, domestic and international alike, are built on excellent wines at price-points to suit various lifestyles, all from great vineyards. Along with this growth in consumer demand has come the need to work with an increasing number of growers to convert to new regenerative farming principles, which have been enthusiastically embraced by young and older farmers alike.”
“When we started down the organic path, there were no blueprints and there were challenges from site to site and season to season. 2020 brings us different challenges but our aim remains the same: producing excellent organic wines that our loyal customers love.”
You can now order Tamburlaine Organic Wines ‘Stay at Home Dozen’ for just $16 a bottle with FREE delivery to your door. Visit their website to order tamburlaine.com.au
We wanted to let you know that we are busy hand-making our candles to keep up with all your orders for candle light.
As you know, we are a small business by choice. Over our working life we have worked in many businesses (before creating Happy Flame) and saw that growing a very big business is not always the best.
Hand-making, for example, is definitely for small businesses. It allows us to focus our attention on the details and therefore creating the highest quality.
Our beekeepers have had an extremely difficult year. The drought for the last 3 years has taken a toll on how much honey and beeswax they can create, but the bushfires put real hardship on their lives. One of our beekeepers lost 500 hives in the bush fires… a very sad time.
This highlights why it is so important for us to use beeswax from our local beekeepers, supporting the industry in the good and hard times.
And now the virus and a major economic downturn is making for more difficult times.
It is a time when we are so very grateful for all our supporters who continue to buy their candles from us… thank you. It not only allows us to continue to be here but help others in difficult times.
Our beeswax candles are also finding new homes, bringing calm to busy and stressed families, clearing the air with the negative ion effect and bringing light to rooms.
We look forward to sending out candle light to your home.
You can purchase Happy Flame candles made with certified organic beeswax on their website www.happyflame.com.au