The uncertainty. The changes to our everyday routine. Not being able to see friends and family in ‘real life’.
Some people feel differently about lockdown to others, and that’s normal, because no two of us are the same.
You may have noticed some changes to your eating habits, sleep and response to situations which normally would ‘wash over you’.
That again is totally normal.
And what about our children?
They are absorbing the atmosphere which adults are struggling to get to grips with, and at times feels overwhelming.
Doing schoolwork on their own or struggling to do anything because they are not at school and it feels different. Focus is hard.
Children, like adults can have thoughts buzzing around their head, and their imagination can run wild too, making sleep more difficult than normal too.
Does this sound familiar?
I have been working with parents and children these past few weeks who are experiencing all of the above, and want to know how they can help themselves, and their children.
With all of that thinking
If you this is something you are struggling with, here are my top three tips to help your child today:
Be honest when they ask questions
Don’t tell them everything is going to be alright; they will have heard things about the current situation and are looking to you for reassurance. Sitting down and listening to their thoughts and giving them age appropriate responses where you can will help them process what is going on in their head which they may not be able to express.
Be prepared for changes in sleep habits and behaviour
Like you, children will be responding differently and will not always be able to get to sleep or wake up at the same time. It’s still important to keep to routines, but employing some different strategies to help calm them before bed and maybe allowing them a bit more time to sleep in the morning (if that is happening) will allow them to get optimal rest.
Take pressure off yourself, and them to ‘learn’
No matter how hard you try you will not be able to recreate the school environment, nor should you. You have a unique relationship with your child which does not, in most cases, include being their teacher. If you stress about doing this, no matter how hard you try, your children will pick up on it and conflict is not conducive to learning! Don’t feel pressured by schoolwork or expectations from school or others to set the tone with your child, after all you know them best. Social media can be a demon when you struggle with this area so remember the ‘perfect parent’ image is never real life.
If you need someone to talk to, please do get in touch. You may also be interested in joining a session I am running via Zoom on Thursday 7th May at 16:00 and Saturday 9th May at 10:30 called ‘Creating Calm for Kids’. More details can be found here.
This isn’t going to last forever, but we need to do what we can to get through it.