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ArticlesBlogMental HealthUncategorized5 Ways to Help Children Transtion from Lockdown

October 18, 20200
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Five ways to help children transition from lockdown Lockdown has been difficult for many families. School closures have forced millions of parents to homeschool their children, and social distancing measures have put a lot of pressure on mums and dads to keep their children occupied. Fortunately, after several months of staying indoors and distancing ourselves...

Five ways to help children transition from lockdown

Lockdown has been difficult for many families. School closures have forced millions of parents to homeschool their children, and social distancing measures have put a lot of pressure on mums and dads to keep their children occupied.
Fortunately, after several months of staying indoors and distancing ourselves from the friends and family we love, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And the government is now introducing new rules to help families transition from lockdown and get back to a more normal way of life.
We want our students to feel comfortable when they return to class. So to make the transition out of lockdown as simple as possible, we’ve put together  five tips for making the switch successfully..

1.      Start a conversation

Talking to your child about a sensitive issue like the coronavirus can be complicated, particularly if it means talking about things that make them anxious. But by taking a few minutes to do something fun – like an activity or game – you can create the right environment for open communication and make them feel more at ease.
Young Minds is a leading charity in childhood wellbeing. Their website has an entire page dedicated to conversation starters, and these can help you talk to your child about the pandemic without feeling like you’re having a ‘serious chat’.
One of our favourite activities is Emotional Charades, a simple twist on a classic party game that involves acting out emotions. We find it really helps young people get in touch with how they’re feeling while creating a safe space for discussion.

2.      Provide information

Children often feel reassured about new situations when they know what to anticipate. We’ve implemented a number of new covid-secure measures to keep our students safe, and by sharing these with your little one you can help them build a clearer picture of what to expect.
You can find a full list of our new covid-secure measures below. We’ll also be posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep you updated.
● Temperature checks for all students and staff ● Cleaning stations at all venues with anti-bacterial gel and wipes ● Clean downs in between classes/groups ● One-way systems for students to enter and exit the building ● Only students and staff will be allowed inside the classrooms
● 2-metre social distancing for all students and staff (a cone system will be used to encourage this) ● Masks will be available for any students who wish to wear one ● Props, costumes and group scripts will not be used.

3.      Sleep routine

A good night’s sleep is important for the whole family. It improves concentration, lightens mood and strengthens relationships. During the last few months, however, many families will have struggled to maintain their old bedtime routines because of the pandemic.
As the government continues to ease lockdown measures, it’s important that families make the most of their sleep. The Mental Health Foundation has a number of guides on how to look after your mental wellbeing, and their better sleep guide is a great place to start for families looking to improve their bedtime habits.

4.      Be alert

School provides children with structure and routine. But for some kids, going back to class may be a source of anxiety. A top NHS doctor recently issued advice to parents, alerting mums and dads to the possibility that some children may find the next few months challenging, and to be on the lookout for signs of anxiety.
NHS England has put together a list of warning signs to look out for. They are:
● Difficulty eating and sleeping ● Appearing low, withdrawn or tearful ● Reporting negative thoughts about themselves or their future ● Difficulty controlling their emotions ● Increased bedwetting.

5.      Look after yourself

Parents often think about their children and what they need first – it’s natural. But it’s also important to take care of yourself and make sure you’re putting enough time aside to focus on you.
Lockdown has been a stressful time. Many parents have had to balance working from home with homeschooling, and in the confusion neglected to take care of themselves. Now is the time to reconnect and make sure everything’s okay. That way, you’ll be better placed to stay positive and support your child.
Self-care takes many forms, from binging Netflix to going out for a run. What’s key is that you do what feels right for you. If you’re struggling with your mental health or feel like isolation is taking a toll on you, make sure you seek help and talk to someone about your problems. Parents Helpline and FamilyLine offer free services for parents in need of advice or counselling.
The last few months have been tricky, but things are on the up – businesses are reopening, social distancing is being relaxed and organisations like ours are coming back, offering children the chance to get out, see friends and have fun.
We’ve taken every precaution before reopening to protect our students. But if there’s anything you’re still uncertain about or wish to confirm with us before your child returns to class, please feel free to get in touch. You can write to us at enquiries@bigboldyouth.org.uk or call on 01908 086 015.

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