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Coronavirus Support

Helping Children Cope

COVID-19 is a new illness and everyone, especially children, will find this situation very strange and confusing.  They may express how they are feeling and ...:

  • be irritable, grumpy or disruptive
  • have problems sleeping
  • become teary 
  • be clingy or need extra attention
  • be quiet or want to spend time alone
  • develop fear of strangers or new things
  • ask lots of questions
  • act younger than their age
  • have headaches or stomach ache

There is no right or wrong way to feel about what's going on right now, but how you react is important.

Remember: Your reaction can shape your child's views and feelings. What's important is to be sensitive to and curious about new and confusing emotions.  Provide routine, structure, predictability and be consistent - all this will make your children feel safe and secure in a world that does not appear to offering any of those things.

Supporting children through this difficult time

Frightening events widely reported in the media, such as the coronavirus pandemic, can cause children to worry about themselves and others.

Age appropriate information - Explaining coronavirus

Too much news can be overwhelming and make it seem like a bad situation is much worse than it is. BBC Newsround has child friendly news coverage -

Social stories

Short narratives to help explain social situations that children may have difficulty understanding. 

Supporting your child emotionally

Practical things

Keeping mentally and physically healthy

When we have structure and routines and lots of things to do, it means less brain space to worry and develop anxious thoughts and feelings. Having things to do, taking part and having responsibilities around the house for example, helps us feel in control - this is the same for our children. 

  • relaxation sessions for children and families
  • Make sure you put in place a routine as quickly as possible 
  • Provide a focus where they can set and achieve goals 
  • Age appropriate tasks also help a child feel a sense of belonging and ownership.  Ideas can be found online