Children's Well-being After Lockdown
During lockdown friendships for many young people may have changed. This will have affected children differently depending on their age. For some older children they may have still been able to stay in contact with some of their friends through social media and gaming. For younger children, this may have been more difficult and they may have felt more isolated during this time.
Friendships are really important for children and help their development. Friendships can help a child to;
- Learn new skills.
- Be supportive.
- Teach them to think independently.
- Open them up to new ideas.
Now that it's much easier for us to mix and socialise again, it's important that children begin to start mixing with their friends and begin to make new ones.
Here are a few things you can try;
- Gently encourage your child to take part in social activities outside of school such as sports clubs, youth clubs or other other extra curricular activities.
- If your child is nervous about socialising with new people, arrange for them to go with a friend to make it easier for them.
- Arrange for your child's friends to come over to play. Ask them who they would like to invite over.
For more information on friendships and relationships *click here*.
During the pandemic most children across the UK were unable to attend school for months and this was big worry for parents. Virtual lessons and home schooling became the norm and parents had to manage this whilst still doing their own jobs.
Young people often rely on the day to day routine and contact with friends that comes from going to school. Your child may have really missed learning at school and seeing their friends. When this was taken away, some children found this very difficult.
Some older children would have been working hard towards their exams. For some children the exams being cancelled would have been very difficult for them and caused extra stress and anxiety about their future.
Understandably, you may be worried at how this disruption to your child's education will affect them in the long term. Schools are doing their best to catch students up on things they have missed and to get them back on track.
If you are worried about your child's mental health and how the pandemic has affected them call Just One Number on 0300 300 0123.
During the pandemic there has been an increase in divorce and separations due to the extra strain it has put on families. If children are around arguments and conflict it can be harmful to them. They can pick up bad feelings between the parents and their families, which may make them confused, unhappy or even angry.
To support children during a separation and help them with their worries, you should:
- Remind them that they're loved by both parents.
- Be honest when talking about it but keep in mind your child's age and understanding.
- Avoid blame and don't share any negative feelings you have towards your partner
- Keep up routines such as going to school and specific meal times.
- Let them know they can talk about their feelings with you – explain that it's okay to be sad, confused or angry.
- Listen more than you speak – answering questions will help them to open up.
For more information on relationships *click here*.
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
Young Minds Parents Helpline - Call 0808 802 5544 for free Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.
Click the button below to find out about the services that Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust offer to support children and young people.