Support For Children
Any time of uncertainty is difficult for adults, and it is also tricky for children. It is also hard to know how much and what to tell them about what is going on.
While they are back at school now, things are likely to be very different to what they are used to both in the classroom and back at home.
- talking about their feelings, either to you or another adult they trust;
- using technology safely to talk to their friends and family;
- trying to come up with a new routine so they know what is happening and when;
- and support and advice if they are struggling with anxiety or depression.
If the children are missing other extended family members, could you arrange a regular video call or chat with them? Could they read a bedtime story or chat about their days while you are making dinner?
Try to make sure they are using trustworthy news sources, rather than getting their news from social media or their friends. If they are old enough to watch the news, Newsround on CBBC is a child-friendly way of introducing them to it.
KCC and the NHS are providing a mental health and wellbeing online platform to support young people. Visit the Kooth website for easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors.
Well known children’s illustrator Axel Scheffler (he worked with Julia Donaldson on The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and several of her other books) has released a free book for download for primary age children explaining coronavirus to them.
There are plenty of activities and ideas for parents of young children in the Surviving Lockdown issue of Families East Kent Magazine, including home learning resources, family health, pre-school play, activities and much more.
The NHS Change4Life website has a series of indoor activities designed to keep kids active, including working on your posture by balancing books on your head, and playing hide and seek with a cut out and keep Forky (from Toy Story 4).
There are also several channels on YouTube which focus on kids’ yoga – try Cosmic Kids
Young people can also continue to access advice, information and support from the following places:
- Visit the Mood Spark or Kent Resilience Hub websites to learn about mental health and find tips to stay emotionally healthy.
- Send a text to ChatHealth (07520 618850) for support around physical and mental health. This number is monitored Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
- Complete an online form for the Children and Young People's Counselling Service.
- Call Single Point Access (SPA) on 0300 123 4496 if you're not sure what help you need.
- If you're aged 16 or older, you can visit the Big White Wall website for anonymous support.