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Lockdown advice and support for families

by Alison Cornmell

The last year has been extra stressful, especially if you’re a parent.

As we enter another lockdown, it’s normal and entirely understandable if you’re feeling overwhelmed frustrated, worried or exhausted about the situation.

You are not alone and there is a range of advice and support to help you through the next few weeks.

Supporting your child during lockdown

  • Talk with them about what’s going on, keeping communication as open as you can. Let them know that it’s okay to feel however they feel – whether that’s scared, worried, angry, sad or something else. You can find tips on starting a conversation with your child here.
  • Try to answer your child’s questions and reassure them. While you don’t need to know all the answers, talking things through can help them feel calmer.
  • Encourage your child to do the things that help them when they’re finding things difficult. It could include things like keeping active by going for a walk or bike ride, watching a favourite film, reading a book, cooking or baking, talking to friends, or drawing or writing. The Change4Life website also has a range of indoor activities for children.
  • Reassure them this will pass, you’re there for them, and you will get through this together. Having returned to some of their normal activities over the summer, going back into stricter measures might feel frustrating for your child. They may even be worried that things will never get better. Recognise how difficult this is, while also letting them know that the pandemic will not last forever.
  • Spend time doing a positive activity together. This can help them to feel calmer by giving them a short break from everything that’s going on. It’s also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. There’s a range of activity ideas for younger children, and for teenagers, that can help you.
  • Keep as many regular routines going as possible to help your child feel safe and secure. This can include things like having regular times for going to bed, waking up, eating meals and doing hobbies.

Remember to take time for yourself

With many parents / carers home working and home schooling, it’s so important that you find some “me time”.

  • Share the load – allocate jobs to everyone in the household (such as tidying up toys, putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket).
  • Find time to exercise – go for a walk, join in with the children’s home PE sessions or Joe Wicks workouts.
  • Set a routine – routine is important for gaining a little control. Encourage your children to get up, dressed and have their breakfast by a certain time.
  • Stay connected – keep in contact with family and friends over the phone or through virtual group chats.

Further information and support

Young people in Knowsley aged between 10 and 19 years can access free counselling and wellbeing support with Kooth, the online mental wellbeing community for young people. The online support is free, safe and anonymous and provides advice on a range of topics. Young people can chat to the friendly Kooth community or speak to a member of the Kooth team.

Further information is also available on the Young Minds website