It’s been a strange week, with news of the coronavirus dominating headlines, the stock market plummeting and politicians, healthcare policymakers and scientists struggling to understand the best way forward. Then there is the rest of us. Washing our hands, monitoring the health of ourselves and our loved ones, worrying about our stash of loo roll.
Why coronavirus is particularly challenging for parents
Parents are in a special position here — often looking after older relatives as well as our children, perhaps making decisions as to whether it’s ok to visit granny and grandpa in the event our we or our children are carrying the virus, needing to look after our own health as well.
And of course issues like social distancing or self-isolation present their own problems when you have kids with energy to burn and the prospect of having them home from school or nursery days on end. That could mean struggling to find childcare, juggling your work with daytime parenting duties or puzzling over whether it’s prudent to organise playdates.
A few ways to entertain young children at home
(Psst: Looking for ideas on entertaining homebound children? Check out these ideas from our friend Cerys at Rainy Day Mum:
Virtual Book Clubs for kids, with loads of fun things to read and do — FREE during this period)
It’s an historic and unusual moment, where we must act and think about ourselves, our families and our communities (after all, self-isolation if you think you’ve been exposed is about preventing others from getting ill).
Things parents can do about coronavirus
- Make sure our children follow all proper hand-washing routines
- Talk to our children — in age-appropriate ways — about the outbreak and why it’s important we all do our part
- Stress that the virus can make people sick regardless of their skin colour or ethnicity and the outbreak is not anyone’s ‘fault’
- Be mindful that children can be carriers without showing symptoms and tailor activities accordingly
- Here’s an easy guide from BBC News with pictures about what we should do — good to share with children
The financial impact of coronavirus on families
We’re already hearing that parents are feeling the financial effects. The influencers and creators in the BritMums network are contemplating how to earn as companies scale back on their marketing budgets, employees are watching as companies reel from the effects of stock plunges and a financial situation that some say will be worse than 9/11 in its global impact.
What are you doing to cope with the coronavirus situation? Are you changing your regular schedule? Your social plans? Visits to family and friends?