Other reminders for parents and carers
Schools are offering a much reduced provision. Although your child may not be able to attend, schools will likely continue to provide regular updates and support and resources. Check with your school how and/or when you can seek advice from staff if you need it.
Set yourself realistic targets - you will not be able to fully replicate your child’s school timetable. It will be most important to establish a routine with frequent breaks. Involve your child(ren) in setting up the daily routine so they feel part of the plan and solution. It may be helpful to display this routine or timetable in a visual way as a reminder to all.
Expect that you and your child(ren) will get stressed at different times. Be flexible and take breaks / change activities as required. Don’t expect your plans and routines to be perfect. Remember, this is a highly unusual time so allow yourself to be flexible and respond as needed.
Remember, you are not your child(ren)’s teacher usually so do not put too much ‘academic’ pressure on yourselves. Spend time together, enjoy sharing activities and take regular breaks for exercise and brain breaks. Reassure your child(ren) that, although we may not have all the answers, it is the job of the adults in their lives to keep them safe and people are working on answers and solutions every day. Normalise the experience; all children and adults are in the same situation at the moment.
Help your child(ren) stay connected with their friends. Face to face is limited at the current time so setting up a video group call (discuss with other parents) may be helpful.
Reduce access to ‘rolling news’ throughout the day. Try and reduce your child(ren)’s exposure to distressing media coverage.
Supervise children with screens – it is likely they will be using the internet more than usual over the coming weeks / months. Ensure you have appropriate content filters on – the UK Safer Internet Centre offers guidance on setting up parental controls. Try to ensure there is a balance in the range of activities your child(ren) engages in.
Play! Remember, this is key to children’s wellbeing and development, at all ages, and it also helps to reduce stress in adults.