How do we explain covid19 quarantine to our kids?

Today is day one of our forced quarantine and I am far from figuring out how do we explain coronavirus quarantine to our kids? Schools are closed and people are invited by the government to just stay at home. Which would be a great thing for me. I am the couch kind of person who’s been waiting for years for someone to dictate that life had to be lived on the couch. And in the Netflix era! Simply awesome. Plus, the beauty of living in a country like Belgium – where we only have sunshine for two months a year – makes it even easier to digest.

If only…

If only I was not a mom. And if only me and my husband had not made the mistake of having unprotected sex TWICE. How do we explain coronavirus quarantine to our kids? Forced quarantine for two healthy kids is a suicide mission guys. This morning, only two hours after we woke up, they had already started 10 fights. Which I was very proud to be able to manage with an unprecedent diplomacy (time-out in the bathroom). Until, they started to throw Lego bricks at each other.

Damn Lego bricks!

The perfect and most desired toy for kids of all ages (husbands included). Yet, the worst nightmare for parents all over the world. Not just because there will always be that one little piece you forget to put away. And that suddenly reappears under your bare feet, while you’re trying to reach the toilet in the middle of the night. But also because, as I learned today, they can very easily become war weapons.

To put the fights at rest, I decided to video call my mom. She lives in Italy and thus has been locked up at home for the past two weeks already. And I was surprised to see how the moment the kids saw the “nonna”, they started to cry and moan. At that very moment, it hit them. They suddenly realized that we were not going to join her anytime soon. In their minds, they were waiting for school to be over, as they had identified that with our departure. Therefore, when we started the video call, they began to understand that they were home with me, without being sick, so school was over, but they were not going to go anywhere for some time.

How do we explain covid19 quarantine to our kids?

How do you explain to a 3 and a 4 y.o. that they have to stay home even if they are not sick? And that everyone is grounded? And that we cannot even go to the restaurant nor the park, otherwise we are all going to die?? Ok that’s not true, I was getting carried away sorry.

I’ve heard other moms saying that their kids were scared, “because if they go out the virus will eat them”. And last week, my daughter told me that at school they had to wash hands frequently, “because otherwise the police would go after them”. For now, my strategy has been to underline that school is over earlier (yaayyy!!!), so we get to spend some quality time together. But I am not sure that will work for long. Especially, because they are no stupid. I am sure they can see the look on my face, when I think that I’ll be grounded at home with the two of them for the next 5 weeks…

So, all in all. Not only they are scared about the virus, which is something adults struggle to handle too. They are also super sad that our trip has been postponed. A family trip, that hubby and I have been prepping for and saving for, for more than two years. Honestly, I haven’t figured out yet how to explain the covid19 quarantine to my kids.

The good news is though, that at their age they are not yet conscious of time. Which means, I will just lie for now. Tell them that we are leaving tomorrow (aka in 5 weeks). And that today will last very, very long.

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