Whatever your circumstance, it is inevitable that both you and your children will be feeling unsettled due to the changes to normal life. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our tension and anxiety. They (and we) have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school might sound awesome, they will still be feeling some mixed emotions, particularly about not seeing friends and the change to their routine.
Over the coming weeks, you may see some changes in behaviour with your children as a result. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally, it may happen. You may also see more meltdowns and tantrums in the coming weeks: This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. The most important thing is that you let them know how loved they are. If you can, play outside or go on a walk. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Start a book and read together as a family. There are lots of fun suggestions below to have a go at!
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be OK. When they are back at school, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Over the coming weeks, your children’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills. If we can help them to feel loved, this is what will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during the next few weeks is long gone.
If you'd like a chat about support for your child or advice around their needs please contact their class teacher. They will be able to offer support or may recommend that you speak to someone else at school. We will get back to you! Also please share any ideas or agencies that you have found useful. There is a lot of good stuff out there!
Keep safe and keep smiling at this difficult time.
Mrs Carter x
Baking cakes Cooking together Create a scrapbook Treasure hunt Flip book animation Create your own story Make a fairy doorway Stage a family play Create a den Chalk art in the garden Plant sunflowers Plant tomatoes
Parent and child pampering sessions Family choir Make a bird feeder Create a time capsule Find a pen pal Our homes’ got talent Create a nature collage Finger painting Design your own board game Family sports day
Macaroni crafts Junk modelling Baking soda volcano Messy play Noughts and crosses Play pirates Family bake off Family quiz Clap for the NHS Positive affirmations artwork Decorate a room
Design your own birthday card Nerf gun garden battle Hangman Write a song/poem Play the sun always shines on me Play hide and seek Create your own bead necklace Tie and dye art Cartwheels Set a skipping record Create a memory box Hop!
Play snap Help in the garden Put on finger puppet show Dance performance Smile! Make a paper fortune teller (chatterbox) Family movie and popcorn night Help wash dishes Design a car Re-lace trainers in a new style Create home art rubbings Water fight
Paint garden stones Decorate plant pots Make a dreamcatcher Help with washing dishes Decorate a hairband Family picnic in garden Make your own obstacle course Create origami bunnies Hopscotch Easter bonnet Chalk garden games Become a news broadcaster Laugh!
Garden gymnastics Penalty shootout competition Fancy dress day Create a bug hotel Jump about Pyjama day Digital detox day Paper aeroplane competition Musical statues Bake your own cookies Make your own gloop Learn sign language Learn Makaton
Paint a parent’s nails Make a family member breakfast in bed Adopt an animal (charity) Plait your hair in a new style each day Make indoor restaurant for your family Paper mache balloon Tidy your room Have a tea party Make yogurt pot telephones
Useful fun, websites with highly visual games for using with your children to learn and consolidate early skills.
Isolation is a stressful time for everyone, your children will be struggling to adjust to their new routine and make sense of what is happening. Resources in the social, emotional star will help. However it is likely that the stresses of what is happening will impact on your child's behaviour, You know your child better than anyone but here are some useful coping strategies which may help
Remember a meltdown is not bad behaviour, it is when your child is so overwhelmed and overloaded that they cannot communicate this - they have lost their words. They are having a fight or flight response and they have lost control, they really need you not to.