Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for the way in which you are all coping at this worrying time. I feel so proud that, as always, our South Parade family are united in keeping our children safe and secure.
As the days go by and the messages and instructions change, this causes us all to be unsettled and concerned about the uncertainty of how the situation is going to affect us but for some of our children these levels of anxiety can be very difficult to manage.
Behaviours associated with high levels of anxiety or perceived threat might include:
Carrying out extensive research into coronavirus (to the extent that this interferes with other daily activities)
Being unable to sleep
New heightened anxiety on separating from the parent/carer
The following tips may be useful for reducing anxiety around coronavirus:
Try reducing your exposure to media coverage of coronavirus, particularly if the information is likely to be misleading, inaccurate or sensationalising. Try restricting yourself to particular sources of key information
(e.g. UK Government Response and NHS advice)
Be mindful of what children might be overhearing on the news or from adults and other children, and let children know that they can talk to you about anything they might be worried about.
Explain that coronavirus cases are still very rare, and that measures are in place to keep people as safe as possible. Be truthful but remember your child’s age: It is better for children to take an honest and accurate
approach – give them factual information, but adjust the amount and detail to fit their age.
Allow children to ask questions, It is natural that children will have questions, and likely worries, about Coronavirus. Giving them the space to ask these questions and have answers is a good way to alleviate anxiety. Again, try to be honest in your responses – it is ok to say you don’t know. At the moment, there are questions we don’t have answers to about Coronavirus – you can explain this to your child and add in information about what people are doing to try to answer these questions.
Give practical guidance, remind your child of the most important things they can do to stay healthy – washing their hands and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ advice for coughs and sneezes. Help your child practise and increase their motivation for keeping going (maybe thinking of a song they want to sing while washing their hands).
You could also use mindfulness or relaxation techniques with your child. A nice one to use on line is; https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/joinin/seven-techniques-for-helping-kids-keep-calm but there are lots of other ones out there.
Finally, look after you! Remember what they tell you to do when you are given the safety instructions on an aeroplane. Always attach your oxygen mask first so that you are able to look after others.
Below is a list of some sources of support that you may find helpful.
Stay safe and look after one another
SENDCo and LKS2 Leader
Sources of support
General – for parents
Call 116 123
UK Mental Health Charity with information and an online mutual support community
General – for young people
Telephone: 0808 802 6666
Text message: 07537 404 282
The Family Line service supports people who are dealing with family pressures in a new and innovative way by using a network of volunteers from across the country to support family members over the age of 18 through telephone calls, email, web chat and text message.
Family Lives (previously Parentline)
Call: 0808 800 2222
Family Lives offers a confidential and free helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.
Single Parent Helpline: 0808 802 0925
One Parent Families/Gingerbread is the leading national charity working to help lone parents and their children.
Call: 0300 123 7015
Grandparents Plus is the only national charity (England and Wales) dedicated to supporting kinship carers - grandparents and other relatives raising children who aren't able to live with their parents.
Helpful resources for talking to children about Coronavirus
A short book about Coronavirus for children under 7
Drs Chris and Xand explain what’s happening
Resources for children and young people with additional needs:
contains a link to the most up to date version of their “Easy Read” for young people and adults with learning difficulties