Most of the world is currently in a crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and (hopefully) one of the biggest we will ever have to face for us and our children. Living in tricky times when there are restrictions on what you can do, can create fear, worry, panic and uncertainty as we don’t know when life will go back to ‘normal’. Eventually, we will get through it and our world will probably be different afterwards.
Most of us are living day by day. There is lots to cope with – supporting our children, working ourselves, making sure everyone is fed etc. Making sure everyone is ‘alright’. I was tempted to put happy but I don’t think anyone will feel happy until we are back in our routines and getting back to what we know and are comfortable with.
Until then parents need to help our children with this crisis. This is something I have been discussing in my coaching sessions for the past couple of weeks. I have been asking the children how they think they will manage in isolation and pass the time. Going from having a routine, seeing friends, being able to be ‘out’ to staying at home all of the time is a challenge for anyone.
We have talked about feelings, fears and putting into place plans and ideas so that they can still see their friends virtually, have a space to do their schoolwork and are able to have some balance in their day.
Create Structure in Isolation
Try to get some structure into the day and allow time for the following activities:
- Exercise that your child likes doing and can do daily (skipping in the garden, Joe Wicks 9am exercise routine or other You Tube videos)
- Time to talk and share their feelings
- Time just for children to relax
- Family time
Ideally, there needs to be some kind of structure to the day as this is what they are used to. Focus can be a good thing in terms of a crisis as it gives us something else to think about and divert some of the feelings of uncertainty.
Isolation could also be a good time for children, particularly teens, to learn new skills and help more around the house. With more time on their hands what would they like to do? Crisis pulls people together. More than ever families need to start working as a team and it’s difficult to have team members who you aren’t used to working alongside 24 hours a day. I believe if our children have a plan and structure they will feel more in control and able to deal with how we are living now.