Lately when perusing social media, I have noticed that there are not as many videos: of people taking their bins out in various costumes, of celebrities/politicians washing their hands, or encouraging us to adorn our streets with teddy bears and rainbows. Maybe it is because people are busy, tired or ‘Corona Cross’. I recently learned of a young person who was just that, cross/angry at the Coronavirus and who can blame him?
Throughout this time, we have shared many resources via the Student Wellbeing Page of the Remote Learning Website and this newsletter, about how to talk to children about the Coronavirus. Here is a link to one such article from the ‘Raising Children’ website.
In it you will notice the importance of making time to specifically talk to your children about the Coronavirus. I especially like point 5, ‘tuning into your child’s feelings about physical distancing and self-isolation.’
Tuning into our children’s feelings doesn’t need to involve a formal conversation (actually in some ways, it is better if it doesn’t!). You could raise the topic over dinner, while playing a game or while going for a walk. You could also create an activity around it. For example, this coming weekend I am going to brainstorm a list of words that describe some ‘negative related’ feelings (sad, angry, disappointed, frustrated etc). I am then going to name an empty tissue box ‘Corona Cross’. This is going to be a place where my family members can write down or draw what they are ‘cross’ about.
Having the list of words next to the box will help them to work out if they are indeed ‘cross’, or actually experiencing other feelings that they previously haven’t been able to find the words for. At dinner times, family members will have the option of pulling comments out of the ‘Corona Cross Box’ and talking about them, but my little project does not end there! While it is important to help children explore negative emotions, it is also important to help them to experience balance, so I am also going to have a ‘Joy Jar’.
Every time family members put something in the ‘Corona Cross Box’, they need to write or draw 3 things that they are grateful for, looking forward to, would like to celebrate etc. and put them in the ‘Joy Jar’. Each night, regardless of whether or not anyone wants to share from the ‘Corona Cross Box’, we will take at least 2 comments from the ‘Joy Jar’ to share. Knowing my family, particularly my teenagers, this is likely to feel awkward at first. Despite this, I am willing to persevere as strongly believe that by acknowledging both ‘sides of the story’, my family members will be mentally healthier and have the potential to become more resilient people. I’ll let you know how it goes!
‘My Hero is You’- an online UNICEF book. This is a recent publication involving more than 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from 104 different countries exploring questions about the Coronavirus. Click here to see the online book or here to watch it being read out loud on YouTube.
Immune System Video - Aside from having feelings about being socially isolated, physical distancing etc, some children may also be struggling to understand why these things make a difference. I recently came across this video that is not specific to Coronavirus, but aims to help children understand how the immune system works. Click here to view.
The Wellways Building a Future snapshot program
Please see attached flyer for information about a new mental health education and support program for families of someone experiencing mental health issues.
Flourishing Families session by Edwina Ricci - Please see Carol Wyatt’s article (previous page) for more details. Highly Recommend – BE QUICK TO SECURE A SPOT!
Taking care of yourself for parents/guardians – Click here for some resources on how to look after yourself. This is really important!
We have a wonderful team of people supporting your children. Please reach out if you need any support.
Until next time,
Julie Reid - Student Wellbeing Officer