Supporting children, young people and families through COVID 19
Our Clinical and Consultation Services team are working hard to support the children, young people, families and Foster Carers in our region through this challenging time. We have compiled a range of resources at the bottom of this page which we have found to be helpful and will continue to update the information available. The team has also put together some recommended tips to help families, including:
How to talk with kids
- Model calmness, this helps kids manage their emotions. Keep information simple and age appropriate.
- Review some of the resources featured below which can help you acknowledge their fear or worry, but all the while helping keep it under control.
- Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer to a question they may have, but reassure them you’re with them and you’ll work it out together.
- Use technology to help yourself and your children stay connected. This may be a great time for your kids and you to learn about technology together, or in fact for them to help teach you if you’re not super-tech savvy!
- You may need to adjust your mindset on what ‘screen time’ is and may require some adjustments to house rules around the amount and type of screen use. It’s worth thinking about separating ‘connection’ from other sorts of screen time.
- Keep in mind cyber-safety in all this. Having children and young people stay connected with friends doesn’t mean you give away all oversight of who and what they’re doing online.
- Keep normality, routine and structure as best you can; but keep your expectations in check. Kids attending school for 6 hours a day don’t do school work for that entire time. A 30-minute stint of productive work is much more beneficial than 2 hours staring at their work.
- Break up the day with regular breaks, including some active time.
- Be guided by them. Some, young people, especially those in senior years, may feel the pressure of falling behind. Help them work however you can, while helping them understand that we are all in the same situation. For others, the stress in the world around them may have a larger influence and ensuring they feel as safe as they can is your primary goal. For all kids, a positive and educational interaction with you will be the most successful ‘schooling’ you can give them at the moment.
- Kids, especially little ones, learn through play. Help them use those tremendous imaginations in positive play. Just by being with them in play you’ll be helping them develop skills without even knowing it.
- Be sure to look after yourself. Find the things that alleviate your stress, and as best you can, build them in.
- Exercise, eat well, stay hydrated, and have a think about ‘family time’ and also ‘me time’. Both are important, but it sometimes takes planning and a little lateral thinking to get them in your day.
- Learn something new – a language, taking up art, perhaps there is something you have contemplated doing, but not had the time or ‘space’ to do it.
- Try and keep a focus on things that are inside your control, and take it day by day
- Help yourself manage the 24 hour news coverage. Turn off the news at least 2 hours before bed to give yourself a break from COVID-19 coverage – read a book, watch a movie, but let your brain switch off.
The following compilation of resources can assist families in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a wealth of great information available; we’re just offering up some that we think may be useful:
- E-Mental Health in Practice: Managing Your Mental Health Online During COVID-19
- Australian Psychological Society: Tips for coping with coronavirus anxiety and Maintaining your mental health during social isolation
- headspace: eheadspace – internet chat, email or phone support for young people (12-25) with a range of issues and How to cope with stress related to COVID-19
- ReachOut: Coping during coronavirus; 10 ways to take care of yourself during coronavirus; and How to deal with uncertainty during coronavirus
- Beyond Blue: Mental Wellbeing Support Service
- Youth Beyond Blue
- Kids Helpline
- Sydney Dance Company
- The Body Coach TV: PE with Joe
- Yoga with Adriene
- 28 by Sam Wood
- Audio Yoga Classes
Creative and/or educational
- Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People ‘Digital Lunchbreak‘: digital workshops, learning materials, virtual excursions, resources and activities to do at home in a lunchbreak, around learning hours and on weekends
- Creative Bug Classes
- The Brain Scoop
- Soul Pancake
- Khan Academy
- Brain Pop
- eSafety Commissioner: Staying safe online during COVID-19
- Youtube: a fun way to teach kids the importance of using soap
Arts and Culture