Parents are already providing daily excellent care for our students. Here are some ideas of how you can support your child further during an emergency or whilst they are required to be at home for extended periods.
You can support your child by:
monitoring reactions and listen to how they feel and what they are thinking
be aware of what you say when children and young people are around and let them know they can ask you questions anytime. Make feelings normal by letting your children know it is okay to have feelings such as sadness, anger, frustration, worry, fear or anxiety.
share that you are also feeling this way, without overloading them with adult responsibilities. Encourage them to talk with you about how they are feeling, let them know there’s no wrong way to feel or think, and that all feelings are valid.
providing correct information
be honest and stick to the facts, without providing too much detail. Limit the amount of media coverage children see, hear and read. Explain news to them and discuss what has been seen, read and heard.
If your children are feeling upset or anxious about stories they are seeing or hearing, make sure they take some time off to think about something else. Switching devices off for a few hours may help.
providing a sense of stability for your children, may help them feel more comfortable during times of uncertainty. If schools are temporarily closed or school attendance is interrupted, think about the importance of:
sleep: getting enough sleep and rest can help us all feel better during the day. Set regular times for going to bed and getting up in the morning. Keep normal bedtime routines for younger children and expect the same from your older primary and high school-aged children too
food and drink: make sure your children are eating regularly throughout the day and drinking plenty of water
moving: being physically active can lift your mood, be relaxing and provide an opportunity for fun
relaxation and fun: is there something your children enjoy doing that will help them relax? Everyone needs a little time out to just think about something nice, whether that is playing games, singing or communicating with friends. Set rules and limitations around social media usage and other online interactions.
focus on the good. When times are difficult, it can help to take notice of the good things still in your life. Encourage your children to take some time to think about the positives – kind people, good friends, beautiful moments – however small. Point out the people working to fix the situation.
During your child’s time at home it is easy to think that your child is ‘studying’ online. Please stay vigilant, it is common that during times when students are more likely to be on technology such as during study and exam weeks there is often an increase in online misuse and cyber issues. Please be aware of how your child is using technology and especially during study and holiday periods