Many parents are now finding themselves working from home and playing the role of full time educators, coupled with a break in children’s routine and many questions about the uncertainty of Covid-19, its easy to understand that stress and anxiety will be having an effect on both parents and children.

Talking to Children about CV-19

It’s important to spend time talking to children about Covid-19 right now, children might find it difficult to understand quite what is happening and why everyone is so worried. Its no surprise that this can cause feelings of anxiety or stress.

Talking to Children about Covid-19

  • Children may not talk directly about Covid-19 so check-in with them. Many parents are now finding themselves working from home and playing the role of full time educators, coupled with a break in children’s routine and many questions about the uncertainty of Covid-19, its easy to understand that stress and anxiety will be having an effect on both parents and children.
  • Explain its normal to feel scared or unsure.
  • Be honest, speak calmly, use age appropriate language.
  • Re-assure them that elderly family members are being kept safe.
  • Pay attention to individual worries, these may seem trivial to you, but may feel important to your child.
  • You don’t need to have all the answers, if you don’t know you can find out together
  • Explain how they can help. For instance, good hygiene and social distancing, and how this can keep them and others stay safe.
Its more important than evere to be kind to yourself and stay flexible – Juggling working from home and looking after children is challenging!

Beat Corona Anxiety for Kids

Looking after children’s mental health and wellbeing at this time ensures they have the best chance of dealing with any anxiety or stress they may be feeling. Taking the time to listen to their fears is vital, children might not ask directly so take the first step and ask them how they are feeling:

  • Create routine and structure
  • Keep them connected with friends
  • Re-assure them they are safe
  • Let them talk about their worries
  • Teach them coping skills
  • Limit their exposure to news

Pay close attention to individual worries, these may seem trivial, but the change in routine may be unsettling them. Concerns around safety of elderly family members can be meet with reassurance around practical steps that are being taken to keep people safe

Encourage them to connect with friends, Children, especially teenagers, receive a great deal of support from peers so it’s important to be nurturing these supportive relationships at a time like this, video calls, conversations via online gaming or even regular texting, these all help with connectivity.

Children need to be physically active, encourage a family walk once a day, take part in live stream exercise classes or even spend some time having active play in the garden.

Look after yourself – Children and teenagers need you to remain calm and in control.

Homeschooling Basics

Although it’s not an essential some learning at home will keep your children challenged. Quick wins can include; writing short creative stories, reading to younger siblings, on the spot maths questions or even writing down and reciting their timetables.

Get active, be creative and learn through doing, look at fun ways of getting children involved in the everyday things you would normally do and helping build key life skills for the future

 

Take advantage of this extra time together – but cut yourself some slack. It’s important to appreciate that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding us right now, but remain calm and just know that you’re doing your best.

Create a structure and routine. This is an important way children manage their anxiety and other emotions

Useful Resources

Local services:

Kooth: https://www.kooth.com/ Free safe anonymous online support for young people commissioned by Cumbria County Council. Online support Mon- Fri 12-10pm, Sat – Sun 6-10pm

Barnados: www.barnados.org.uk Various services across Cumbria including targeted support, childrens centres, missing from home, My Time (access via CAMHS)

Carlisle Youth Zone: www.carlisleyouthzone.org Youth work in Carlisle 01228516280

Dropzone: http://drop-zone.uk/ Youth work in the Furness area 01229 812888

Cumbria Family Support: https://www.cumbriafamilysupport.org.uk/ Providing support to families across North and West Cumbria  01768 593102

Inspira: https://www.inspira.org.uk/ Careers and development service across Cumbria including NCI programme 0345 658 8647

Young Cumbria: https://www.youngcumbria.org.uk/  Free confidential 1:1 support for young peopl aged 11-19yrs 07823 412 095

COVID-19 Specific:

Coronavirus – a book for children A book looking at the coronavirus for children with illustrations by Axel Scheffler

Government guidance on supporting young people: general information on supporting young people’s mental wellbeing during COVID-19

Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership COVID-19 : information from Cumbria Safeguarding Children Partnership

Young Minds COVID-19: information from Young Minds

Anna Freud COVID-19: information from Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

Childline COVID-19: information from Childline

National:

Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/

Information and advice and support on young people’s mental health including:

  • Young Minds Parent Line 0808 802 554430-4pm Mon-Fri,
  • Young Minds Crisis Messenger Text YM to 85258 Crisis text support for under 25s 24/7
  • Information about medication (previously headmeds website)

Papyrus – Prevention Young Suicide  https://papyrus-uk.org/ Support and advice for Young People who may be feeling suicidal. Hopeline – 0800 068 4141 9am-10pm Mon-Fri. 2-10pm Weekends.

The Mix  https://www.themix.org.uk/ Advice and support for under 25s on mental health, physical health, relationships, drugs etc 0808 808 4994  4-11pm

NSPCC https://www.nspcc.org.uk/ Advice and support.

Childline: https://www.childline.org.uk/ 0800 11 11 Support currently available from 9am-Midnight (normally 24/7) and on line 1-2-1 chat

Family Lives: www.familylives.org.uk Providing resources for families on a wide range of issues including BullyingUK Helpline 0808 8002222 Mon- Fri 9am-9pm, weekends 10am-3pm

Muslim Youth Helpline: www.myh.org.uk Helpline 0808 808 2008 4-10pm

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