It is a worrying time for everybody especially as we are having to currently stay apart from family and friends. Our daily routines have abruptly changed and we are having to find a new routine during these uncertain times. It is natural to feel loss, be it missing out on social events and celebrations or missing ordinary activities going to the hairdressers or the gym. We are all experiencing an array of emotions right now. Be it good days, bad days or a mixture of the two. It’s important that we recognise all these feelings are valid and need to be acknowledged. It is important how we deal with these feelings in ourselves and in our families.

As a parent and/or carer we have to juggle our own emotions and try to maintain a safe, happy home for our families. Younger children maybe struggling with the loss of time with parents when the older children would usually be at school. Older children maybe struggling with the lack of routine and structure the school day gave to them, and not forgetting seeing their friends and being able to let off steam together. For some, the feeling of loss at not being able to say good bye to their teacher or to attend their school leaving party is very upsetting. For those young people who should be sitting their GCSE or A-level exams this summer may feel a variety of emotions, relief of not having to sit exams but the worry their grades might not be enough for them to progress as they’d planned. The Government have written ‘Guidance for parent and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic’ click here to read it.

It is important that we discuss Coronavirus with our children and family and the importance of hand washing. Children may have lots of questions about what happening or what could happen. Creating a Time Capsule about your experience is one way of being able to record events, feelings and promote understanding with children.


Some families appear to be enjoying the time at home together and other families are hating it. There are so many factors that have to be considered like how to manage working from home, how to get the things we need, how to occupy and entertain our children and what will happen if we or our loved ones become unwell. Contact have a useful website with tips on Coping at Home

We know that for some parents, having the kids at home full-time can mean different challenges arise. If your child is finding it difficult to adjust to life away from school, you might find it useful to look at advice from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF).

The CBF provides information and support to families caring for individuals with severe learning disabilities, who may display behaviour described as challenging. By severe learning disabilities, they mean very limited or no verbal communication, as well as a great difficulty in learning new skills or completing everyday tasks.

The CBF has produced special guidance for families during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Sometimes it is the smallest things that can create the biggest stresses and come out in unhealthy ways like overeating, being irritable, being unable to focus if we ignore our own feelings. The less obvious losses during this time matter and we need to acknowledge them. It appears obvious to say but make time for you, be it ten minutes on your own in the bathroom or talking to somebody outside of the house. We are lucky to have the technology nowadays to be able to video call and still share moments together.


Let’s not forget us as parents as we miss our time away from the house and a break from our families. We are important too and we need to look after ourselves and wellbeing as well. Read a book, have a bubble bath, join an online exercise class or singing group. Spend time outside and try to enjoy your hours exercise each day. Click here for NHS guidance on tips to improve your mental wellbeing


Coping together tips

  • Make time and space for you and your feelings. You are important too.
  • Avoid watching too much news and COVID 19 stories
  • Limit social media time – what is shared is not always true
  • Try to flip a negative situation around into a positive eg, “Don’t be sad about missing out on your end of term party, we can have a party at home instead”.
  • Support each other – show understanding to family members when they tell you how they are feeling. This may be  displayed in poor behaviour. If it is try to acknowledge how they are feeling and offer support as they too as feeling the impact of the lockdown.
  • Respect each others need for privacy and space
  • Deal with the now, there’s so much uncertainty at the moment avoid making difficult decisions at the moment if you can.

Ruby’s Fund is able to offer support to families in Cheshire East through our new Thriving Families Toolkit

To visit out main Facebook page click here.

To find support in our closed parent carer support group click here.

If you are feeling lonely and isolated please contact our Befriending Co-ordinator Jill click here

To register for support from our Thriving Families project please click here

To find out more about our parent carer, children and siblings Zoom support groups click here

If you are a registered family with Ruby’s Fund you may be able to access telephone counselling click here to enquire

 


Here is a link to the Children’s Commissioner for Englands guide to Coronavirus click here

The Coronavirus Act click here

CAMHS Information and support click here


Useful contact information:

Cheshire East Council COVID 19 support offer click here

Cheshire East Financial support offer during COVID 19 click here

Children with health needs or if your child is unwell click here

Contact online parent carer training in managing your child’s behaviour. Please email: helen.davies@contact.org.uk

Coronavirus and your child’s education by charity Contact click here

Family Action. Providing support for adult members of families via telephone, text, email and webchat on their FAMILYLINE

Family Lives free and confidential helpline for parents in England & Wales How they can help

For grandparents https://www.gransnet.com/