Why Looking out for Children is so Important during Lockdown
Lockdown measures for much of the world come suddenly, and while even the greatest preparation for such events can help manage such a situation, the impact it can have on both mental and physical health is huge. Disruption to everyday lives, such as not being able to see family, loved ones, and friends or even going outside as much as we would like has taken its toll.
Since the lockdown measures were enforced in the UK, a survey by YouGov has found that many parents are seeing negative effects already. 32% of parents with children aged 5-18 years have seen an increase in tantrums and fighting, as well as nightmares, crying and stomach aches as these young people struggle with disrupted routines and managing their emotions.
While many youngsters may not fully comprehend the extent of the pandemic and the measures that have followed as a result of it, they certainly pick up n the anxieties and emotions of those around them. This combined with missing their friends can lead to changes in behaviour, as seen in the survey.
With this in mind, it is essential for our children’s wellbeing that we try to maintain a level of normalcy where possible.
What are others doing to help their children during Lockdown?
Without the comfort and familiarity of school, a lot of daily routines for children have been thrown into disarray. With them now stuck at home for almost their entire waking hours, it is down to parents to keep them entertained, many of whom are likely to be working from home, too.
Thankfully, the wonders of technology have made things easier. Joe Wicks is hosting live PE lessons every weekday morning on YouTube, David Attenborough is teaching Geography on the BBC iPlayer, and there is an abundance of resources available to help keep children focused and engaged with learning outside of the school environment.
We have also seen a lot of parents encouraging their children to develop their life skills – baking, gardening, DIY, and helping out with household chores such as cooking family meals and cleaning. With fewer external distractions, creative activities such as reading, writing, drawing, and dancing are also making a comeback into daily life.
What can you do to help your children?
Dedicating full days to entertaining your children during lockdown is not always possible, however, there are many ways you can help your children through this difficult and unprecedented time:
- Put together a basic daily plan or timetable of learning for your children – but don’t stress if this is not followed in full or if you are unable to fill the entire day, this is a stressful time for all involved, and productivity will be affected
- While learning activities are important – your school may be able to provide these, and there are lots of free resources online, too – it is also important to include breaks for snacks and recreational ad physical activities, too
- Include home learning activities like cooking, chores and get creative with DIY or small projects to make the days feel less entirely focused on traditional academia
- Ensure time is set aside for calls, Facetime or Skyping family, friends and loved ones
- Allow your children to help out where possible, in the home and outside in the garden if you have one. You could even let your child drop off supplies to a local food bank or a neighbour in need, providing all safety precautions are followed
- Finally, talk to your children. Explain the situation that the world is facing in this pandemic and utilise resources to help them understand how the virus is affecting lives around the world. Stay calm, and ensure they know and are following all government guidelines when it comes to staying safe and healthy.