It is such an unsettling time for everyone at the moment. Everyone is experiencing the knock-on effects of the Corona Virus; normal life has changed and change can be really hard. Unexpected change can affect us in ways we were not expecting and can leave us feeling unsettled.
Here are my top tips to help in the first few days and weeks of this transition…
- Lack of control is making a lot of us feel on edge. But there are still things that you can control-for example if your family works best with a routine try to maintain a sensible routine that will work for you all (wake ups, mealtimes, bedtimes etc).
- With many parents now working from home it is important to take time to discuss the practicalities of how it is going to work. Where can you work while the kids are playing, are there times when you need the house to be quiet for conference calls etc. How can you manage your work diary and your home diary to reduce the possible stresses of all being under one roof?
- Assess your home and make practical changes if necessary. If you are looking to home-school you may need to devote a quiet space for learning, make sure you have the right tools in place for this, not just in teaching resources, but more basic things like a desk and chair that your child can sit comfortably at.
- Remember that play and sibling play are skills that develops over time. Make play accessible for the kids, do not overload them with choice and options as this can make it harder to focus. And keep play timeframes realistic.
- Be realistic and have age appropriate expectations- you do not need to replicate a full school/ nursery day. It is important not to add to the pressure that this time is putting onto you and your families
- For school age kids-remember to look at some of the factors that make school a successful environment. Schools are usually set up by year group and are timetabled for age. Lessons are planned and broken down into manageable sections with clear learning objectives and defined outcomes. School offers regularity, structure, routine with regular opportunities for praise and reward, for scheduled and regular break.
- Consistency and clear boundaries are key to successful behaviour change so make sure you make changes that are long term, that work for you as a family and that you feel you can stick to-guided by your own family’s needs.
- Lots of change at once can have a big impact on families. Take one step at a time and be kind to yourselves-this is new for all of us and we will all need to adapt and change over the coming weeks.
- To avoid feelings of overwhelm, try not to feel bombarded by advice, with resources and with what everyone else is doing. Great information is out there, so you do not need to re-invent the wheel-but try to access it in a way that does not lead to you feeling bombarded, access it at your pace and in a way that will work for your family.
- Please always remember that your best will always be good enough. In these very unsettling times home needs to feel safe and nurturing. And also remember that is it a parenting strength to ask for help. Please do get in touch if you or your kids are finding this adjustment a challenge.
Look after yourselves and each other, Livvy xx
Parenting Coach & Children’s Behaviour Expert
Livvy Gormally is a mum of 3, a Parent Coach and a Children’s Behaviour Expert offering solutions to your everyday parenting challenges.
From tantrums to sibling rivalry, separation anxiety to nightmare bedtimes. Livvy can offer practical and personalised solutions to suit your family that will really work.
With over 20 years’ experience working with kids she offers structured, step-by-step support helping parents overcome any issues our kids may throw at us. Livvy is a trained ABA Consultant and is an expert at dealing with any aspect of challenging behaviour.