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7 months ago by Debbie Lloyd

Coronavirus: How to help kids cope with life without school

0304 N13 Covid 19 Coronavirus Graphic Generic File

BBC reports that children across the UK will be off school for an indefinite period of time because of coronavirus. Some are likely to be anxious, so how can parents help them cope?

No school for the "foreseeable" future. Exams off. Clubs closed.

Millions of children will be looking forward to a spring, and possibly a summer, free of responsibility and routine. But these are not normal times - they're likely to have to spend days and nights indoors with parents or guardians.

They won't get much personal contact with friends and, for teenagers, the cancellation of exams will make a difficult time of year even more worrying.

"It's the perfect storm for parents and children," says Sam Cartwright-Hatton, professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Sussex.

"It's not just the fact that they're going to be cooped up together. Emotions are also going to be super-stressed because - on top of what young people are feeling - parents are worried about jobs, food supplies, paying the next mortgage bill."

Consistent routine

As households begin this forced experiment in enclosed living, Prof Cartwright-Hatton advocates setting a clear routine, particularly for younger children - such as a couple of hours of school work in the morning or a specified time for craft work in the afternoon.

She argues that pre-teenage children "turn inwards quite quickly" if they spend too much time alone.
Parents should play with them and encourage those of an adventurous nature to regard the situation as an "adventure". This approach won't work for the more sensitive children who will need extra reassurance.

Click here to find out how Meridian is supporting our clients and candidates through this difficult time.