Support for Parents/Carers

Is your child feeling confused and doesn’t know why the new restrictions are in place?
Well if so, talk to them!!!

Here are six things you can do to support your child:

👍 Explain the changes and talk about them together. Find out how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking about. Let them know it’s okay to feel scared or unsure, and try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate way. Remember, you don’t need to know all the answers – just talking things through can help your child feel calmer.

👍 Reflect together on how we’re all allowed to have ‘close contact’ at the moment e.g. back to being outside and not in each other’s houses. Think with them about what feels comfortable and right for them, and prepare them for the fact that some people may react differently to meeting up.

👍 Stick to regular routines such as daily mealtimes and bedtimes as much as you can. This might not always be possible at the moment, but doing so when it is can help your child feel safe and secure.

👍 Spend quality time doing positive activities with your child. This could be things like reading, playing, painting or cooking together. Doing these activities can give your child a break from any worries they have. It’s also a great way of providing a space for them to talk to you without having a ‘big chat’.

👍 Remind them that the rules are there to help keep them and others safe. Let them know that they’re not forever – and that things will eventually go back to normal.

👍 Remember that this is a gradual process and that your child may need some time to adjust to the new situation. If your child is feeling worried or overwhelmed, arrange regular, virtual catch-ups with family and friends, or meet up in small groups, outside e.g. at the park.

At a time where we are experiencing so much change, uncertainty and worry, it is completely natural for young people to want to be around friends and family. Due to social distancing rules, we cannot hug or be physically close to loved ones, and this can be frustrating or upsetting for some people.

You may be finding it difficult to support your child to comply with the government’s guidelines.
If this is the case, here are some tips to help you:

  1. Give your child clear and strong messages about why it is still important to abide by the rules. Remind them that these rules are for their safety, as well as yours and the people around them.
  2. If your child is required to wear a face mask in public spaces such as shops, explain this to them and talk through any worries they have about it together.
  3. Reassure your child that social distancing and other guidelines are not a punishment. Restrictions are being relaxed gradually to help keep everyone safe, but these measurements are temporary and things will go back to normal.
  4. Talk to your child about how they can stay safe while they are outdoors or meeting other people. For example, show them what two-metre distance looks like, let them know when they should wash their hands, and think about games or activities they can do with friends from a distance.
  5. If there are people your child still can’t see, such as vulnerable friends or family, or people who live far away, think together about alternative ways they can keep in touch. Remember to focus on the things they can do, as well as recognising the things they can’t.

Useful Resources

Mental Wellness Marketplace Handout 2020

Families-Newsletter-April-2020

Ideas-to-help-your-childs-anxieties-worries-and-struggle-with-staying-at-home

https://www.camhs-resources.co.uk/

https://www.kooth.com/ – XenZone is a provider of online mental health services for children, young people and adults. Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.

http://earlyhelp.wakefield.gov.uk/ – Wakefield Early Help – Early Help means providing support to a child, young person or their family as soon as a problem emerges. Whether you’re a parent, a young person or an Early Help professional looking for advice, support or family activities, you’ll find all the information you need on these pages.

http://earlyhelp.wakefield.gov.uk/– Early Help Directory – Take a look at what’s on offer across the Wakefield District to help you and your family.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 – Useful resources for Parents/Carers

Let’s talk about mental health – 2 Simple Parent Guide