Top Tips for Parents During the Coronavirus Pandemic
It’s very clear that the current coronavirus situation is on the minds of our children. This is a time, more than ever, that they need to feel informed, safe and loved. ❤ Here are some tips to help reassure our children:
- Don’t have the news on while they’re in the room
- Watch NewsRound with them and afterwards turn it off and wait to see if they have questions 📺
- Remind them of the flu vaccine (it’s probably the only reference they have for ‘flu), talk positively about the people who are working hard to find a vaccine for this one, too. The first vaccines are already being tested. 💊
- Ask questions like ‘are you ok?’ and then wait and don’t say anything. Sometimes the pause allows children to feel safe enough to offer more 💬.
- Whatever they offer in that moment, be patient and don’t dismiss what they say or their worries however unrealistic they might seem. Honour what they’ve said (even if it’s they’re going to miss the class hamster if schools close) say ‘I know how you feel’ + ‘that must be hard for you’ validate what they’re feeling because, to them, it’s important ♥.
- Be aware of children overhearing your conversations they hear and pick up everything 👂.
- Be honest with them, the most important things in their life that might change initially is school, trips you might have had planned & family visits. Prepare them for this, if they’re old enough explain why. Then remind them of all the things that aren’t changing. You’re going to sleep in your lovely bed, you can eat your favourite foods, TV programmes etc.
- Talk about it as a short term thing, children don’t have a huge concept of months + weeks etc anyway make sure they know it won’t last forever.
- Some Christians read a very simple version of psalm 91 at bedtime when things are unsettled for whatever reason, it helps to hear the same thing each night as they go to sleep, you could just say ‘you’re safe and you’re loved’ or whatever works for your family.
- Draw a picture/map of your city/town/village with them and talk about what things might be open and what things might close. Discuss what they think is important, they might say their football training ground or swimming pool, ask them would they be ok without this for a time? Like you’re almost giving them control in the situation, let them come to the decision that they could cope without football training for a while and say how proud you are of them for coming to that decision.
Then delve deeper into what is really needed, hospitals, pharmacies, food shops. Talk about anyone you know who works in these places. They need to understand the grown ups who keep them safe will still be doing their job of keeping them safe.
IF SCHOOL DOES NEED TO CLOSE:
- Children thrive on structure and routine, so if you’re staying in more, draw up a visual timetable together so they are part of the planning, even if you put 4 hours worth of watching movies on it, it will help to see it visually 📋
- Children are used to living as a community, their classes are their communities, they do it far more naturally (and better) than adults.
So during this time learn from them and look out for each other. Post a card through the door of any elderly or vulnerable neighbours, give them your number if they need anything. A chat on the phone or leaving supplies on their door are contactless ways of helping.
Teachers will upload learning for every child onto their year pages. This will be regularly updated by the teachers over the period of time that we are closed. We have put together a list useful websites which would be good to access with your children to keep their learning going.
https://www.edshed.com/en-gb (offering free temporary subscription)
https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ (offering free temporary suscription)
https://www.nessy.com/us/ (good for Dyslexic learners)
https://www.vooks.com/ (online animated story books)
BCP Libraries have over 3000 eBooks which you can download to borrow for free. Click the link below for more information: