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Lockdown is stressful for everyone. These tips from psychologists may help you and your family
This period of lockdown is a remarkable, unusual and hard time for families. Some working parents aren’t used to spending as much time around their children. No working parent is used to being locked down with their family.
If you’re a working dad there’s no doubt the ‘dad’ bit of that is more important than the ‘working’ bit at the moment.
The changes taking place at pace are bewildering for adults. Reassuring your kids and explaining to them what’s going on is a big ask.
The psychology team at Southwark Council in London have come up with this useful list of tips to help families cope with the coronavirus outbreak. Every dad should read it.
Talk to your children, and answer their questions. Ask about what they have heard about the virus and the situation so that you can correct possible misconceptions and reassure them
Avoid being too immersed in media coverage. Be mindful of the amount of things you are reading and watching, including social media – as this may add to worry and anxiety. Consider a few updates every day from trusted sources.
Remember that people react differently to significant events. Some people – adults and children – may feel worried, some excited, some nothing much at all. Be reassured that different reactions are normal and ok.
If your child seems worried, it may be good to distract themselves with something that takes their mind off their worries. You might also want to set aside 10-15 minutes each day for them to talk about any worries, and to reassure them.
Remember to keep things positive and give children hope. For example, tell children that now many people are working to make this better and that even though it is serious, everyone is doing their best to help people.
Try to keep familiar routines. Well-known routines in everyday life provide security and stability
Do nice things together, and keep active. Make a plan and suggest some regular family times where you can play games, do some exercise together, or do other things that you know most of you like. Try to find a good balance between time together, and screen time
Keep in good contact with family and friends (via Facetime, Skype WhatsApp etc; following NHS guidance on ‘social contact’). This will help children connect with others and know that others are thinking about them. It will also reassure them that others are well.
As a parent you may be concerned yourself. Take care of yourself. Make sure you have breaks, time to relax, and ask for help from others if you need.