Are you struggling with knowing how to support kids after lockdown?
Action for Children has launched a new national Parent Talk advice service, as families fear months of uncertainty ahead
A YouGov survey of over 2000 parents by Action for Children in July 2020 has shown the devastating impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on millions of families in Britain, with parents and children struggling to cope
After months of lockdown over a third of parents (36%) say that their children are feeling isolated and lonely, with millions also reported as anxious, or unable to sleep. ¹ This has left parents themselves reeling with four in ten (43%) feeling anxious and more than one in three (33%) admitting to being out of their depth when it came to supporting their children during the lockdown. Many are also experiencing the same loneliness and sleep problems they say their children are.
Even with restrictions easing, parents are fearful about the weeks and months of uncertainty ahead. Over one in three (37%) say they are worried their children will struggle to socialise and want to remain at home.
How to support kids after lockdown – the long term impact
Action for Children is warning that things are likely to get worse as the long term impacts of the pandemic become clearer. After seeing a surge of 415% in the three months of lockdown to its digital parenting advice service, the charity is launching Parent Talk – a new national online service which connects mums and dads with trained parenting coaches. Its confidential one-to-one online chat service gives parents somewhere to turn for free, practical advice and emotional support.
Lynn Giles, Parent Talk Manager at Action for Children, said: “The pandemic has triggered a crisis for mums, dads and children on an unprecedented scale, with parents feeling overwhelmed without their usual support from friends and family, or any certainty for the future. Huge numbers of children will need extra support over the coming months and parents are telling us they don’t know where to turn. With so many mums and dads in desperate need of guidance, a service like Parent Talk is needed now more than ever. Our parent coaches are there for any questions parents have – big or small. Anyone who needs a bit of support in these tough times can go to parent-talk.org.uk.
Top tips from Parent Talk on how to support kids after lockdown
Joanna Miskin, Action for Children’s digital parenting support coordinator gives her top five tips to help kids deal with feelings of anxiety.
- Pinpoint the worry: Sounds simple but a ‘new’ normal may bring up questions and anxious feelings about the unknown. Talk to your son or daughter about their worries to understand what’s bothering them the most. It will be much easier for you to support them when it’s out in the open.
- Plan together: Help your child feel more in control by planning the details of their day. Map out what their day will look like from getting up, what’s for lunch, meeting friends or family. Perhaps start the day with a morning playlist to ease some anxiety.
- Home comforts: Find out if child will miss anything about being at home when they start the new school term. If there’s an activity they’ve loved doing in lockdown, make sure you find time to keep going with it once they’re back in their school routine.
- Get them looking forward to it: If you’re child’s a bit weary of going back to school, ask them to make a list of all the positives of getting back in the classroom. Seeing their mates, being less bored, a new sense of going it alone, learning a favourite subject… take your pick!
- Remember to breathe: Breathing exercises can definitely help to keep kids calm. Having some fun with breathing out bubbles with toddlers and younger primary-aged children whereas apps such as Headspace are made to support teenagers.
ABOUT PARENT TALK
Parent Talk offers free, down-to-earth information and advice for parents of children aged 0-19 from Action for Children. The confidential one-to-one online chat service connects parents directly with a parenting coach for judgement-free practical advice and emotional support whilst the website answers some of the most common parenting questions. Parenting coaches are qualified and experienced support workers, childminders, play practitioners and teachers.
ABOUT ACTION FOR CHILDREN
Action for Children protects and supports vulnerable children and young people by providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. With 476 services in communities across the UK, the charity helps more than 387,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers a year. actionforchildren.org.uk
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