Parenting tips for the ongoing lockdown
This week our Family Support Practitioner, Amanda Moore, who is based at our Sunflower Seeds centre, has compiled a list of parenting tips. Amanda and her fantastic colleagues in the Sunflower Seeds team have been busy supporting lots of mums throughout the lockdown. Homeschooling is the number one topic but parents are also worried about children’s wellbeing. We hope that these tips help and we will be sharing them on social media over the coming weeks.
1. Order and predictability is good for children – they like to know what to expect so try and maintain some of your normal routines – meal times and especially bed and waking times. However, sometimes it is good fun to do things differently so try it out.
2. Try and organise your days with quiet time, outdoor time, together time, own time and learning time. Talk through what these times will look like with your child and what you expect, name them so they know.
3. Talk to your child about things they would like to do in the day, play, where and how to exercise eat etc, or give them options to choose from. This gives them back a little bit of control over their lives.
4. If you’re struggling with home learning don’t be afraid to stop, do something else and come back to it later. Tell your child that you still have to do the learning but having time out and a breather can be a good reset.
5. If home learning is tricky, DO NOT WORRY. Break it down into small sections; write one / two sentences, use 5 or 10 mins sessions, use a timer on your phone, share that with your child. Have a break and then come back to it.
6. Try and do fun things together; carpet picnics, sleep overs in each other’s bedrooms or downstairs, cook and bake together, read books in silly places; in the bath, under the table, make dens.
7. Give children warnings on changes of activity or things they have to do; ‘In 10 minutes you need to stop playing on the tablet’, and then a reminder ‘5 minutes and you’ll need to stop’.
8. Keep your expectations real; you are not your children’s teacher; they may not complete their learning to the best of their ability but these are tricky times but its okay. Any learning is better than no learning.
9. Remember you are your child’s most important teacher; you teach kindness, love, friendship and warmth, important wherever you are in the world.
10. Always plan something physical and outside if you can; even in the rain and even for just 5 minutes. Good for the mind, body and soul. Everything feels a little bit better for some fresh air.
11. Do some windowsill gardening; it can be a simple as planting seeds from apples into yoghurt pots or carrot tops in a dish of water.
12. Most important of all, be kind to yourself, do what you can, you are the most important person in your child’s life. Your well-being, is their well-being, if you’re okay, they’re okay.
If you have any concerns or just want to talk to a reassuring, friendly voice, our new Family Support team at Sunflower can be contacted on 01752 977614 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org