Coronavirus: How families can cope with self-isolating together

covid19 / mental health / March 28 2020

Self-isolation is one of the key instructions to avoid getting coronavirus.

A positive of all of this is that slowing down can help you enjoy the moment a little bit more. Being together is also an opportunity to build and strengthen your family relationships.

Feeling very close together might become more common as families self-isolate together for longer periods following the coronavirus outbreak. Although children really thrive on predictability, especially when life is changing around them they might start to worry.

Having some certainties, for example through some structure in their day time routine, could really help. Schedule is important - especially for children who are already at nursery or school and will be used to routine. However any schedule should be more like a “flow” - rather than something strict.

For example you can do 45 minutes of maths in the morning. And then an hour of reading and writing. In the afternoon you can do more relaxed activities like creative time, artwork, and then time in the garden and playing.

To make things more interesting for the family you can try family activities like a family film evening on Fridays. It’s about getting a balance - having a structure and integrating some fun.

It is also important to consider the environment in the household. It is not about setting up a classroom in the living room.  Learning at home is not simply replicating school at home. Make spaces for children to do arts or craft - for example covering a coffee table with newspaper and arranging pens in mugs - and even moving furniture.

It’s not just the children who may be impacted as whole families in isolation. Parents too could find it a challenge. Spending hours on end every day with your children can be difficult. Parents need to think about themselves also.

As a parent the best thing to focus on is to think about how to support yourself first. Even just opening a window and taking 10 deep breaths, or writing down 10 things you’re grateful for. And things like limiting how much news you’re taking in in a day. Its important as parents you get space and time on your own.



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