We're aware that this is likely to be a very challenging time for our families. All our staff are continuing to work remotely and are here to support you in a way that prioritises the health and well-being of our families, staff and wider community.
You can contact our adoption support team at any time for help or advice or for a referral for peer support via our Buddy Scheme.
For some of our children, the strangeness of the current situation will be frightening, and they will be drawn into their survival brain. Adults may also be operating out of a place of anxiety as we deal with unprecedented and worrying circumstances. We know that families will be under a lot of pressure at this time, and we would again like to remind you that our support staff are available to offer telephone calls, email support and video calling.
Talking to children about Covid-19
It can be difficult to find the right way to explain to children what’s happening with Covid-19. Parents want to address their children’s concerns and encourage them to speak about them but at a level that’s appropriate and will be beneficial to them.
The Children’s Commissioner has recently published The Children’s Guide to the Coronavirus and it’s a really useful for school age children pack covering:
- Children's questions about the virus
- How to stay safe
- How children can make the best use of their time at home
For younger children, there’s Covibook from mindheart.co. This is a reassuring visual guide to the virus designed for children aged 7 and under. You can find this online here or download the PDF here (1.5Mb).
Here’s some really useful advice from our associate Fi Newood, a psychotherapist, trainer, author and adopter. Fi recommends role-modelling stress management, keeping yourself calm and your stress levels low is crucial; and staying connected with people is an important part of this. Be open and honest with children and use this as an opportunity to listen and empathise with how your child is feeling. Fi's advice can be found on her website.
Childhood anxiety expert Jane Evans has also put together some tips specifically for children who are worried about the current situation. It gives good advice on how to talk to them about what's happening and includes simple techniques to reduce anxiety. You can find these tips in Jane's piece for tyla.com.
This time of enforced confinement may be a great opportunity for you to use some Theraplay activities to help connect and regulate. Here's a list of some great Theraplay activities (236kb) so you have some tools at hand.
Support for Teenagers
Whilst younger children might be enjoying having more time with parents, this might not be the same for teenagers and pre-teens. Unicef’s ‘6 Strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal’ offers advice on how teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus.
Childmind.org acknowledges the specific challenges for adolescents and their parents at this time and this article covers strategies to address some of these, including:
- Understanding their frustration at not seeing friends
- Supporting remote schooling
- Encouraging healthy habits
- Helping them to practice mindfulness