For older children and teens, “offer them more balanced news,” says Dr. Ward, and monitor where they are getting their information. And for young adults who feel a sense of invincibility in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, try to keep your discussions rational.
“Throughout the country, we’re seeing spikes in college-age populations because they’re not following the rules,” says Dr. Ward. “Rather than parents getting authoritarian and laying down the law, it’s best to talk about the expectable consequences: If you don’t wear your mask, and don’t maintain distance, and people in your group start getting sick, they’re going to close school. You can’t have it both ways.”