Supporting your children during lockdown

There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways we can support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy.

Some children and young people have enjoyed being off school, while others will have really struggled – with the coronavirus outbreak keeping them at home and away from friends. Others may be coming to terms with family problems, loss or changes to their living situation.

With nationwide and local restrictions being regularly reviewed, they may also have to deal with self-isolating because of an outbreak in school or another period of school closure, or have worries about getting or passing on the virus. It's still uncertain what further changes we all may face.

Feelings like these will gradually ease for most, but there are always steps you can take to support them emotionally and help them cope with problems they face.

There's support available if you feel you or they need it.

It can be very hard to look after a child or young person who is experiencing emotional or mental health problems. You may feel isolated, scared, challenged, angry or deeply upset. These are all perfectly normal reactions to a tough situation.

At Charlie Waller, they will walk you through trusted places where you can find support, practical steps that you can take to help your child, and introduce you to organisations that help parents or carers just like you.

Be assured, things can improve for you and your child. Mental health problems, much like physical health difficulties, are often temporary and, with the right support, can change for the better.

CAMHS have released this fantastic image of The Stress Relief Giraffe. It offers a clear visual for young people to describe their level of stress as well as some tips for coping.

Image and chart of the stress relief giraffe

For children who are very emotional it can be challenging to know what to say , the Gottman Institute have published this visual as a support reminder.

an illustration of a sailing ship on a sea with the text: 10 things to say instead of stop crying

Those caring for older children may find support by accessing young minds 

Young Minds provide young people with tools to look after their mental health. We empower adults to be the best support they can be to the young people in their lives. And we give young people the space and confidence to get their voices heard and change the world we live in.

Our EAP helpline is also available to support those 16 yrs + within your household along with supporting you as parents during this difficult time.  Contact details can be found here.