Whilst recognising the positives of closer family connections being formed in this time, there is no doubt that parenting a child or teenager will have added challenges in upcoming months.
Our students responded to the complexities and changes associated with Covid-19 with impressive determination, understanding and support of one another. Their seamless adjustment to the Learn@Home program was a testament to their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to approach the future with resilience and hope.
Covid-19 presents many practical challenges to parents and other important adults in the lives of our children. Staying calm, being informed, and adjusting our own habits are important. and we must be mindful of how young minds are processing their changing world.
Stay@Home Support – Our Top Tips for Parents
Model good self-care
Adults are in an unprecedented situation and may feel uncertain and apprehensive, even anxious and stressed, but it is important that parents show how they are managing those feelings. Model good habits and strategies so they understand that they can take some control of some of their feelings as well.
Recognise and Reassure
Expect and acknowledge mood shifts. Responses to the pandemic have been likened to the stages of grief. Children and adults alike will experience a gamut of emotions from denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and acceptance. Remind them that these fluctuating feelings are normal and but this time will come to an end.
Give Extra Hugs
Virtual hugs with friends are not quite the same as physical touch releases oxytocin, a powerful chemical to boost mood. Providing you and your child are well, give extra hugs and cuddles
Encourage gratitude and empathy. Discuss ways they might be able to help others; a call to an elderly neighbour, an offer to do their gardening while they are in isolation.
Know the facts and check your child’s understanding in order to debunk myths but limit their media intake where possible.
Encourage periods of ‘Covid 19 free’ conversation
Declare ‘Coronavirus free’ conversation hours. If they have a question, they can write it down for discussion later.
Help them take control
Point out the things we are in control of: turning off the news, limiting social media, social distancing, thorough handwashing etc. Discourage conjecture about what might occur, how others will act, etc.
Maintain Rituals and Routine
Kids and teens love routine-despite pushing the bedtime boundaries! The Learn@Home program aims to keep them as close as possible to the school routine but their usual pastimes, sports and freedom have been curtailed. Familiar rituals will help provide a sense of normalcy.
Conduct a Cybersafety audit
More time online means more risk to young people’s safety and the potential for cyber-bullying. Monitor internet use carefully and review all privacy settings on your children’s devices.
Remember that this is unchartered territory and you won’t have all the answers. If you have concerns about any family member, consult a health professional.