Please remember that you can only do what is possible for you, in your circumstances. What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. Try to give them a sense of routine. Let them take on tasks in the home. Bake things and paint pictures. If you have time, play board games and watch movies. They can still be outside (remember social distance) and go on walks. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing – you need a rest and your spirits kept up, too.
At the end of all of this, your children’s mental health is all-important. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during this period is long gone. Praise your child, talk to them, learn with them. Try to keep their brain ticking over, along with keeping them smiling and content.
School Closure Resources – we have compiled a useful page of websites, games and links. This will be updated regularly.
Children Receiving Support – our SET (Special Education Team) have compiled a list of literacy and maths links and advice for children who were receiving additional support.
Talking To Your Child About CoVid-19 – we have child-friendly booklets, links and videos that may be useful during this challenging time.
The following is some information from Barnardos:
Guidance and Support for Parents:
With news of the coronavirus dominating headlines, social media platforms and conversations across the country, your child is likely to have already heard information about the illness. Your child may be trying to make sense of this information by themselves and be feeling worried or scared. In the absence of definitive information, some children can imagine situations are far worse than they are.
Keep calm. Check in with yourself, how are you currently feeling? When parents are feeling anxious children can notice this and begin to feel stressed too. If needed, take some time for yourself or talk to another adult about your fears before talking to your child.
Talk to your child. As parents, we instinctively want to protect children from things that might frighten them; however not talking about something can make children more scared. Ask your child to tell you what they have heard about the virus and ask them how they are feeling. Let your child know that they can ask you questions. If you do not have all the answers, that is ok, tell your child you will let them know when you know.
Answer questions. Many children will have heard about the virus and may already be asking questions. This is an opportunity to talk openly to your child and to share fact-based information. Answer your child’s questions in language they will understand with a level of information appropriate to your child’s age. Avoid sharing too much information, as this can be overwhelming.
Create a safe environment. Your child might be worried they will catch the virus. To reassure your child talk to them about everything you and they are doing to stay safe, for example washing their hands, using and disposing of tissues etc. Try to limit your child’s exposure to news reports and discuss your worries outside your child’s earshot.
Maintain a daily routine. A consistent daily routine is very important for children as it creates a sense of stability and predictability. This will be of particular importance if your child’s school or crèche closes. Keep the days structured with consistent mealtimes, playtime, bedtime etc.
Reassure. The best way you can support your child whenever they are feeling anxious is by reassuring them. Tell them you understand how they are feeling and let them know you are always there to listen, support, take care of them and give them a hug when needed.