If your child is returning to school in June, there is a special story for them below.
NEW: Hampshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) have put together some top tips to support well-being. Find the guidance here.
Public Health England have recently released guidance for parents and carers on supporting children's mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak. Find the guidance here.
Visit Nosy Crow publishers to download a free book explaining coronavirus to children. The book has been illustrated by Axel Scheffler, creator of The Gruffalo.
The Children's Commissioner has also released a range of advice, information and resources to support children.
Managing Day to Day Routines
Resources to explain Coronavirus to children
NEW: Coronavirus social story from Little Puddins is available here.
NEW: Link to an ELSA story to explain the current situation is available here.
Help with Sleeping
Tips for managing anxiety in children
“The treatment for anxiety isn’t to make the fear go away, it’s to manage the fear and tolerate uncertainty”
Structure their day. (For more help with this, see the suggested daily planner sent home in your child's pack).
Use a feelings chart to help your child explain how they are feeling.
Avoid giving too much reassurance. Children can come to rely on the reassurance and want to hear it more and more often — and when a parent isn’t able to give them complete reassurance their anxiety can worsen.
Look for the positive – make a list of silver linings or start a gratitude jar by adding one thing you are grateful for each day.
Use mindfulness to help your child manage their anxiety.
Here are some tips from the mental health charity the Anna Freud Centre.
Self care for Parents
Teaching mindfulness activities for children will give them the skills they can use anytime; the skill to calm down, slow down and feel better when they are upset
Try this breathing meditation designed specifically for children.
The Bell Listening Activity – ring a bell and ask your child to listen carefully to the vibration of the ringing. Ask them to stay silent and raise their hand when they can no longer hear the sound. Then ask them to stay silent for one more minute to pay attention to any other sounds once the ringing has stopped. Ask them to tell you every sound they noticed during that minute. Young children love this and it helps them connect to the present moment and the sensitivity of their perceptions
Visit Cosmic Yoga to complete a mindfulness session with Jaime.
Breathing Buddies – ask your child to lie down on the floor and put a stuffed animals on their stomach. Ask them to breathe in silence for one minute and notice how their Breathing Buddy moves up and down, and any other sensations they notice. Ask them to imagine that any thoughts that come into their head turn into bubbles and float away. Having a Breathing Buddy there makes the meditation more friendly and shows the children that a playful activity doesn’t have to be noisy.
Visit Childline for a range of calming activities.
The Mindful jar – this activity can teach children how strong emotions can take over and how to calm down when these emotions happen. We should put a big spoonful of glitter glue into a clear jar and fill it almost to the top with water. We then put the lid back on and shake it to make the glitter swirl. We then tell the children that the glitter is like their thoughts when they’re upset or angry and they can see how when it is whirling around it makes it hard to see clearly. And that’s why we make silly decisions when we’re upset and this happens to all of us. We then put the jar down in front of them and ask them to watch what happens when they’re still for a little while – the glitter starts to settle and the water clears. We then tell them that their mind works the same – when they’re calm for a few moments, their thoughts will settle and they will see clearer.
The Art of Touch – give an object to your child to touch, such as a ball, a feather, a soft toy, a stone, etc. Ask them to close their eyes and describe what it feels like to you. Repeat with a different object. This exercise teaches children to isolate their senses and to tune into separate, clear-cut experiences.