Helping children manage in unsettling times.
The Coronavirus outbreak has led to a high degree of worry, uncertainty and concern. The issue has been very present in the news, and all adults and children will have some degree of awareness of events so far, and may have had their lives disrupted.
During these times both children and adults can potentially feel anxious and unsure about their safety. Alongside school, parents can help provide opportunities where feelings can be discussed within a safe context, as well as maintaining a sense of normality, routine and calm. Supporting children will enable them to process and manage their feelings and build resilience.
The following suggestions may be helpful:
- Reassure children that they are safe: Children will need to be reassured regularly they are safe, and that adults will faithfully try to keep them safe.
- Let children know that it is alright to be upset: Tell children all feelings are OK, but it is important to still behave in a polite and respectful way to others.
- Maintain a normal routine: Have a homework/leisure/exercise routine for students at home. Make extra time to listen to what your children need to tell you.
- Place an emphasis on resilience and strengths: Focus on the child’s skills, in terms of their daily life. Help them see they have many strengths to help them cope if feeling anxious or upset.
- Look for opportunities to help others: Acts of benevolence, charity and humanity help to restore positivity about the world.
- Provide opportunities for children to be honest about their feelings: Sharing worries or feelings of upset with other family members reduces a sense of vulnerability and isolation, raises optimism and self-esteem. Checking in with your children to see if they have any worries can help them start these conversations.
- Provide opportunities for physical exercise: Exercise is valuable in developing natural chemicals in the brain to help us cope with feelings such as worry or shock.
- Communicate any concerns with school: If you have any worries or concerns about your child’s emotional behaviour please do let the school know. There will be things the school can do to help further.
- Look after yourself: A time of stress can mean less energy and more potential for illness for you, as well as others. So please take care of yourself.
If you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing please do get in touch with your child’s teacher using the school emails provided.
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