LAS VEGAS, NV. – For many parents, one of the hardest parts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been explaining it to their children.
It’s something adults have had a hard time processing and understanding, not to mention helping a child wrap their mind around it.
One woman found herself in this very situation and wanted to help not just her family, but other parents as well.
At the start of the pandemic, Christianne Klein found herself in a parenting predicament.
Her two-year-old daughter, Livia, began picking up on the fact that something had changed in her little world.
“My little daughter, again she's two, and she kept saying everything was fun, because mommy and daddy were home together, so fun, fun, fun, fun, and then she started picking up little things she was hearing, so now she's saying her doll is sick,” said Klein.
Klein said Livia started acting out this new reality with her toys.
“We could not figure out what we were going to say to her about what was actually happening in the world and every other parent I know is in the exact same boat,” Klein said.
A children’s book explaining a pandemic didn’t exist.
“We’ve got all the books in the world for potty training with Elmo and Daniel Tiger, and all of those kid-geared books, so you can explain to them what’s happening, but this just didn’t exist,” Klein said.
Klein enlisted the help of her mom, Helene, who’s a marriage and family therapist. They decided to write a book together.
“It's really important for the parents to not assume the kids aren't picking things up,” said Helene Van Sant-Klein.
The mother-daughter duo came up with “Anna and the Germ that Came to Visit.”
“This book is a great way to start the conversation with children. It speaks their language; they relate to the little character; they see her going through the feelings they’re going through, and it gives them a lot of hope at the end,” said Van Sant-Klein.
While Van Sant-Klein is new to illustration, she made sure to fill the book with decades worth of experience in child trauma.
She said parents need to go the extra mile reassuring their children right now.
“Lots of affection, reassurance, give them a sense of safety; it’s really important,” said Van Sant-Klein.
The women have posted resources on their website for children and parents.
It includes a 20 second hand-washing song and coloring book pages.
You can buy the book on Amazon.