How To Talk To Your Child About Covid-19 And The Lockdown
There is a lot of advice online about ways to discuss Covid-19 with your children, so I have summarised the main points.
- YOUR EMOTIONS: Before talking with your child, make sure that YOU have addressed your own emotions and worries first and are looking after your own mental health. As Brené Brown states in her book, ‘Rising Strong’,
‘When our children sense something is wrong…or when they KNOW something is wrong…they quickly jump to filling in the missing pieces of the story and because our wellbeing is directly tied to their sense of safety, fear sets in and often dictates the story….emotions are contagious and when we’re stressed or anxious or afraid, our children can be quickly be engulfed in the same emotions.’
- BE HONEST: As with any difficult issue or event, it is always best to be as honest as you can be with your child, to prevent them from ‘filling in the missing pieces’ or look for the answers themselves. Keep the tone of your conversation light and let them lead with the questions. Look at some of the facts together as a family and avoid watching/listening to the news around younger and/or anxious children.
- KEEP IT APPROPRIATE: When answering your child’s questions, be mindful of their age, development and needs. For younger children or for those with SEND, visual explanations, such as http://www.mindheart.co/descargables can be helpful. For older children and teenagers, Young Minds and Newsround have useful and appropriate information –
- GIVE REASSURANCE: Explain to your child that it is ok and normal to feel worried, but reassure them by showing them how you and your family are protecting yourselves and others – washing hands, socially distancing, etc. You could also focus on finding ways to support others at this time, from putting a rainbow picture on your window to helping a neighbour.
The UK charity, Young Minds, have lots of advice and support for parents on concerns related to Covid-19
For more information or questions about this topic or any others mentioned, please get in touch.
Easy Activities To Cope With The Lockdown
I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old at home, so I am trying to find easy activities to keep us all sane! Below are some resources that I have found to be useful and some tips to bear in mind at this time.
- GO EASY ON YOURSELF: Now is NOT the time to be strict about screen use and TV – we can resume any of these sorts of rules after the lockdown is over. Go easy on yourself and your children and do what you can to reduce stress and remain calm.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE: Children will often opt for simple toys with different possibilities, so don’t feel pressured into buying more ‘stuff’. Keep it simple – turning recycled boxes into castles or building dens in the living room can keep them occupied without the cost.
- PLAN YOUR DAY: Have a couple planned activities for each day, such as painting, going for a walk, playing a board game, etc – this can help to break up the day into manageable chunks and allow time for your children to play independently too.
- BOREDOM IS OK: Letting your children be bored can be good – it encourages them to think more independently and be imaginative/creative with their choice of play. For my children, I have put a list of activities up for them to choose when they feel bored, which takes some of the pressure off me. Attached are my lists, but these are for young children and by no means exhaustive!
- RESOURCES: I have found the following websites really useful; if you know of any other great ones, please share! 😊
- Lots of recycling and craft ideas can be found on Instagram and Pinterest
- Michael Rosen’s Book of Play
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN
- Cupcakes and decorations
- Tea party
- Play dough
- Rice/Pasta/Water beads
- Chalk drawing
- Water painting
- Listen to an audiobook
- Read a book
- Build Lego
- Disney Scrapbook
- Make a den
- Face painting
- Dress Up
- Bug hunt
- Treasure hunt
- Olympics/obstacle course
- Dolls/Disney characters
- Trains and cars
- Animals – zoo and vet clinic
- Write a letter to someone
- Steal a story
- Write a letter to your future self – time capsule
- Make a movie or play
- Maddie Moate Science
- Joe Wicks PE
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Draw with Rob
- Board games
- Simon Says
- Would you rather
- Hide and Seek
- Make a monster/ creature from recycling
- Make a TV set
- Make a cardboard castle
- Make a painting with paint brushes/sponges/fingers/hands & feet
- Make Bookmarks
- Do a self portrait or family portrait
- Make a book
- Make a tiny world/fairy garden
- Hama Beads
- Loom Bands
- Make an instrument
- Jewellery making
- Easter crafts
- Recycle crafts
- Egg carton flower frame
- Make bird feeders
- Make a thankful jar
- Make sock puppets