Child and Family Wellbeing during the COVID19 outbreak
Child and Family Wellbeing during the COVID19 outbreak.
The current coronavirus pandemic is a serious source of worry to adults and children alike for multiple reasons. Many specialist providers have developed resources to help support mental health and wellbeing specifically with the current circumstances in mind. A number of them are signposted here and more will be added as they become available. Previously highlighted resources also remain useful. Support from school in this area also remains possible during the closure. If you feel that you or child need extra support please contact us via the Faith and Family Support Officer contact form at the bottom of this page.
7 Ways To Help Children And Young People Who Are Worried
A useful guide (see link below), produced by The Anna Freud Centre, to helping children and young people manage anxiety. https://www.annafreud.org/media/11608/7waysanxiety.pdf
Online Safety and Safeguarding During increased Isolation
Since the Coronavirus lockdown the National Crime Agency has reported an increase in on-line crime involving children. There has also been an increase in incidents of domestic violence. Various agencies have produced resources to help families stay safe during an isolation period. Use the links below to find help. If you feel you or your children are in immediate danger call 999 and ask for the police.
Thinkuknow:Coronavirus online safety The National Crime Agency has reported an increase in on-line crime related to children since the Coronavirus lockdown. They have launched a campaign to help keep children safe online during the coronavirus pandemic. The #OnlineSafetyAtHome campaign contains home activity packs with 15-minute activities for parents and carers to do with their children using CEOP’s Thinkuknow educational resources. New activities will be launched fortnightly.
Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing as Social Distancing Continues
There is much that each one of us can do to support the wellbeing of those in our lives, including children and young people who may already be vulnerable or suffering from mental health difficulties.
During a health scare, particularly one of these proportions, it's natural to be worried.
Children are generally very resilient and, in a loving and nurturing environment, will often
work through problems and difficult times without needing too much additional help. These
exercises will help your child explore, express and explain their worries and open up the
conversation with you.
Ask your child (or children) to lie down on a rug or carpet with plenty of room around them and ask them to close their eyes. Slowly read these instructions to them in a calm, quiet voice.
1. Breathe in through your nose. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then breathe out. Take another
deep breath in through your nose. Imagine your tummy is a balloon filling with air. Breathe out slowly and let the air escape quietly like a leaky balloon.
2. Stretch out your legs in front of you, and point your toes. Stretch out your arms either side of you,
stretching all the way to your fingertips. Concentrate on feeling the ends of your fingertips.
3. Now you are going to tense all the muscles in your body. Begin with your toes. Curl them over so
they are clenched. Then think about tensing the muscles all the way up your legs. Then the
muscles in your tummy. Make it as hard as a wall.
4. Now tense your arms as well, so your arms are by your sides and even your fists are clenched. Bring your shoulders up around your ears.
5. Now scrunch up your face. Push your lips together and frown down into your face so your
forehead is all crinkled.
6. Make your body go limp again. Think about each part of your body in turn going limp and relaxed: your face, your shoulders, your arms, your tummy, your legs and your toes. Imagine yourself as a floppy rag doll.
7. Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out again, Notice how relaxed and calm you feel. When you are ready open your eyes. It might take children a few times to take it seriously if they are not used to doing this, but you will be surprised to find that it can work, many teachers use these kind of exercises in class. To help your child get used to the order of the instructions swap places with them and allow them to read the instructions. Let them be teacher. You might find it helps you too!
One important point is not to wait until you see your child being anxious and stressed to try
this exercise. It might be a little late. Build it in your day as a regular event, perhaps to
prepare them for a few minutes of quality learning.
The Worry Jar
Make a worry jar to help contain your child's worries.
It can be a drawing or an actual jar. It is better for younger children in particular if it is a real jar as this involves a physical, real action. Ask members of your family what they are worrying about. Get them to write it down to help younger children to write it down, perhaps on a small piece of paper like a post-it note. Together fill up the jar with your
worries. When you have finished, put the lid on to stop the worries getting out again. Or leave the jar in a communal place with pieces of paper and a pencil nearby like a suggestion box. This might work for older children who
might feel hesitant to talk. If you notice new worries going in the jar you might get a chance to read them and address them.
A brilliant way into opening a conversation is beginning with "I am wondering if you..." Sometimes all that is needed, though, is to acknowledge the worry.
For younger children many schools use cuddly toys that "eat" the worries,
called Worry Monsters. See this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3c8J2cO_gE Your child may already have a cuddly toy or a pyjama holder that could do this job rather than buying a new one.
Coping with Lockdowns
(Some ideas from No Worries! By Dr Sharrie Coombes, Studio Press)
It is really important to remember to find ways to be positive, to remember good things and
give your children things to look forward to, particularly as the lockdown doesn't have a fixed
end date yet. To children it might feel like this is going to go on forever. We tend not to be
good at being positive. Our children need us to be the over the top positive.
Post-it notes are brilliant for a quick visual impact. Try using them for displays on:
What they are looking forward to when the Lockdown is over.
What your child likes about school
What your child likes about their friends – name of child – nice comment
The whole family writes 3 post-it notes about what they like about each person in the house and then stick them on a piece of paper with that person's name. It is surprising how good we feel reading nice things about ourselves.
Keep the displays up and use them to remind your children if you spot them feeling low.
Follow a routine
Follow a routine and keep to it. It can be any routine, a totally new one if you wish, it doesn’t matter. But make sure everyone in your family knows the routine. Children like structure and routine no matter how much they appear to grumble about it! You might even set them cleaning jobs!
Go to https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/ for details of this 14 day challenge. There are some lovely ideas that you can complete as a family.
Taken from Lancashire SEND Specialist Teacher Parent SEND Resource Toolkit
How To NOT Go To School
Written by a teacher to help children in his class, this short book is available to all parents to use with their children. Parsley Mimblewood is a home-schooled kid who sees herself as something of an expert on “How to NOT go to School”. The story follows her daily whimsical adventures along with her 11 animals and 7 imaginary friends. Each chapter explores an issue that might be weighing on children’s minds at the moment such as missing friends, dealing with emotions and feeling cooped up. It is free to download as a pdf. parsleymimblewood.wordpress.com/
Other places to find help and ideas:
Links to Wellbeing and Mental Health Resources for Parents and Carers during the COVID19 outbreak
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carersAdvice from the NSPCC for coronavirus isolation
Coronavirus: Advice from ChildlineAdvice for children who are worried about coronavirus and/or being off school during the coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus and your wellbeingA useful resource about maintaining the mental health and wellbeing of you and your family during the coronavirus pandemic from mental health charity MIND.
Childline: Calm ZoneGreat tips and resources from Childline to help children relax and stay calm
Young Minds Parent Helpline 08088025544For parents in need of advice about young people's mental health, also see weblink
Coronavirus: Helpful information to answer questions from childrenInformation for parents to use with their children from mental health charity The Place to Be
Talking to your child about coronavirusAdvice from Parent Helpline Young Minds on how to talk to children about coronavirus
Looking after yourself when self-isolatingAdvice aimed at young people for maintaining mental health when self isolating
Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuseIncluding links to agencies providing information and advice.
Child Bereavement UKSupporting bereaved children and young people - a range of videos and resources with practical advice and support at a difficult time
SEND Resources during Covid-19
Find at: https://www.bowdoncs.org.uk/covid-19-send-resources/
Our non-covid related resources remain relevant