Wow. Crazy times! Here in the UK, the last week has seen the Coronavirus situation move swiftly. Despite the scenes of clear supermarket shelves, in our local area things seem calm and people are being kind and proactive in their preparations. I don't know what to say about it all really. Surreal! But I've been thinking about parenting our children through these uncertain and unsettling times ...
Many of our children are bound to feel uneasy, anxious and maybe even frightened. Depending on their age and level of understanding, there will be different approaches to take. My 3 year old does not understand the situation. He has no point of reference and not enough understanding of the world. Other than talking to him about there being a nasty cough going around and then need to keep the germs at bay with hand washing, there isn't much more to do. If we reach the point where nursery closes, we'll explain in simple terms why. Outside of that it's a case of keeping calm tones of voice, news off and protecting him and those around him with self care. He currently has a very mild cough, so led by our governments guidelines, he'll be home for the next week at least. My nearly ten year old, well, that's an entirely different parenting game! She is nervous and she's needed support. Here are some of the things I've done with her to support her emotional health:
Last night I led with my nearly ten year until she feel asleep. I did that because she needed to feel safe. Bedtime is often the time where her anxious thought run riot and she can struggle to drop off. Yes, she may be gaining increased independence and maturity in so many ways, but she's a child. My intuition told me that she just needed to be close and feel that unique sense of connection and comfort that mums give! Listen to your intuition. What emotional comfort does your child need from you?
Next, logistics. In the UK as I write this, schools are still open. That is unlikely to be the case shortly and there's a lot of chatter and apprehension on social media about home schooling. So, as a mother and ex Primary Teacher , here's my thoughts on how to manage with children at home on a fairly long term basis.
Our world has become fast, busy and increasingly disconnected. If you are forced to be at home for a long period, remember that the time connect will be a light in the darkness. If you decide to throw academics out the window for a little while, fear not. Your attention will be more than enough. So go for a walk, play, watch a movie and read. The world is forcing us to slow down and whilst that mostly definitely brings challenges or worries for adults to overcome, like everything, we can find a positive if we choose to look for it.
Hey! I'm the founder, creator and voice of Ink and Scribbles. Sharing thoughts on child well-being and parenting that are based on my teaching and parenting experience, and NLP learning.