4 Tools Parents Can Use To Protect Kids During COVID-19

This week, we’re featuring COVID-19 parenting resources, including evidence-based strategies to manage stress, tools to keep children safe online, and guides that help parents talk to their kids about COVID-19.


Editor’s Note:  At Together for Girls, we focus on data-driven solutions to prevent violence against children. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re highlighting evidence-based interventions, strategies, and resources with our “Solutions Spotlight” series.

1. Create stability during a time of uncertainty with structure and positive parenting.


The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children developed a suite of positive parenting resources that are available in over 35 different languages. Materials include a collection of fact sheets on topics like keeping children safe online, with tips on setting up parental controls, reporting inappropriate content, and more. Other fact sheets include tips on quarantining in crowded spaces and managing stress as a parent, which features a one-minute relaxation activity you can do when you’re stressed.

2. Keep children safe online.


UNICEF lists five important things you can do to help keep children’s online experiences positive and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it is likely children are spending more time at home and online, tips include updating antivirus programs, sharing with them digital resources to learn about COVID-19, monitoring good behavior on video calls, and more.

3. Manage your family’s mental health by taking care of yourself and have age-appropriate conversations with children about COVID-19.


Prevent Child Abuse America created this list of advice for parents, intended to help parents maintain their health and well-being during this time. In addition to tips for managing stress, such as “temper your expectations” and “take care of your body,” the list even includes advice on how to have age-appropriate conversations about the pandemic with children, including a step-by-step hand washing guide for children by Elmo from Sesame Street that can be both a coloring and learning activity for children. 

4. Update your plan for protecting your children from abuse to reflect the risks the novel coronavirus may create.


According to Darkness to Light, “just as COVID-19 can be prevented by hand-washing and social-distancing, child sexual abuse can be prevented by taking a few simple, pre-emptive steps.” Parents can learn some of the steps to address challenges to their children’s safety during COVID-19 with an on-demand “Protecting Children During a Crisis” webinar that includes a downloadable “Family Code of Conduct Worksheet,” video clips from a child abuse prevention advocate, and other materials to help you plan for existing or potential changes to your normal life and routine.

a father playing with his daughter
On 8 March, a child’s sandaled feet dangle off the ground, at a safe house outside Monrovia, the capital. The UNICEF-supported home, run by the Liberian NGO THINK (Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness), provides counselling, psychosocial support, basic education and vocational and life-skills training, including on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness, for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. [#2 IN SEQUENCE OF TWO]  From 7 to 8 March 2009 in Liberia, women leaders and other high-level delegates from around the world gathered in Monrovia, the capital, for the International Colloquium for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security. The meeting, held to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8), was hosted by President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President of Finland Tarja Halonen. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde F. Johnson was among attendees at the Colloquium, which brought together almost 1,000 Heads of State and Government, representatives from United Nations and NGO organizations, academic institutions and civil society, young people and other participants. The creation of the Angie Brooks International Centre on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security was also announced at the meeting. The International Centre, which focuses on research, training, leadership development and advocacy, was established to implement actions emerging from the Colloquium. It is named after the late Angie Brooks, a former Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations and Africa’s first woman President of the United Nations 24th General Assembly (1969).

There are actions we can all take – whether as parents, educators, or policymakers – to prevent and reduce violence.

Parents play a critical role in keeping children and adolescents safe every day, particularly during these unprecedented and frightening times. But we all have a role to play: to see more COVID-19 resources, visit TfG’s COVID-19 resource hub. 

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