Lockdown has introduced a new set of challenges for families having to navigate government guidance around self-isolation and social contact. Household routines have been disrupted during the pandemic. So, at a time when our children need stability and a calm environment, how can we strike the right balance?
- Find common ground. If appropriate, have a family discussion about the lockdown. Share concerns and agree how you can help one another to reduce stress in your household.
- Be truthful. Try to answer questions your children have about the virus. Rumours and speculation can fuel anxiety, so try to source answers from creditable sources. Consider limiting the time spent watching or listening to news programmes, if you feel this is causing anxiety for you or other members of your family.
- Provide a structure. Children need structure and predictability, so negotiate a routine with them (including outside time and time off-screen). Don’t worry if children aren’t keeping up with schoolwork - view the enforced break as an opportunity for some child-led, individualised learning.
- Keep moving. There are currently lots of exercise sessions available online and you can also be creative: creating an obstacle course in the garden is one example.
- Get things done. Accomplishing activities that are long overdue will improve wellbeing for families. Include long-avoided chores, repairs or tasks. Families should also consider things they can do together.
- Give each other space. As well as family activities it is also important to have time set aside for yourself, to do things you enjoy and to rest.
- Stay in touch. Make time to contact friends and family whether via Zoom or social media.
If you are you having a problem explaining the situation to your child? We hope this book and video will help with that.
Most importantly, if you are worried about your wellbeing, or that of a member of your family, seek help.