Playing helps too
Playing isn’t just fun for kids, it also helps them make sense of the world around them. If you see your wee one putting a facemask on her teddy or building a hospital out of bricks, this is just their way of making sense of the world around them.
Playing is a key part of their development so don’t feel guilty when they play. Even the simplest games they play could be helping them stay emotionally healthy during this tough time. Our page on helping your child through play has more information.
How do I talk to the kids about a family member going into hospital?
If someone in your family or anyone special to your child has to go into hospital, this can be scary for them and you may be worried about how to talk to them about it. This guide from ICU Steps is great for helping children understand what happens when someone goes into intensive care, and has practical things you can do together to make the situation less scary.
Remember, you protect your kids all the time
Try not to feel overwhelmed. You’ve protected them from many day to day risks already – every time they cross a road, for a start! You help them do that safely all the time! By following the official advice you’ll help keep them safe now, too.
How do I talk to the kids about having to stay at home?
Your kids will be spending more time at home than they usually would. Although you can meet up with friends and family, it’s still good to keep in touch with them on the phone, by email or via video chat as well. If you’re not sure how to set up a video call, there’s a useful guide from the BBC here. Visit the ParentZone website which has some fun online activities children can do to keep in touch with their grandparents. The activities will work with their other friends too.
This is a strange time for kids, so reassure them that this won’t last forever.
Looking after yourself during the coronavirus pandemic
It’s okay to feel scared, but try not to panic or feel overwhelmed. Make sure you give yourself time to do the things that help you relax and feel happy, as well as thinking about these things for your children.
We have some useful advice on looking after you and your child’s mental health during this time:
- Mental health advice for parents during coronavirus
- Mental health support for new mums
- Supporting your child’s mental health during coronavirus
- Supporting older children and teens during coronavirus
You can also find advice on the Mind website about coronavirus and your wellbeing.