Guidance for families in challenging times

Self-isolation and quarantine represent an extraordinary situation that, up until now, most people have not previously experienced. The exceptional circumstances we are in offer families the opportunity to come closer together. However, the current social distancing measures can also be very stressful for parents, children and young people. That’s why we would like to support you to get through these times with as little stress as possible. Here at the Parenting and Family Guidance Services, we continue to be there for you: we can look together to find solutions to your current challenges that feel right and work for you. Our services are available online or by telephone – do get in touch!

General tips

  • Keep a daily routine – structure helps us feel safe and secure and gives us strength in stressful situations
  • Plan your day in as much detail as possible – planning what we are going to do can help us prevent a sense of helplessness
  • Create rules with one another about how you will spend the extra time together this will help you to relax and know what to expect from one another
  • Set aside time for yourself and for you as a family – having some quality time can reduce stress from “cabin fever”
  • Focus on your strengths – your talents and positive experiences are reals sources of strength for surviving challenging times
  • Get moving – physical activity works wonders for the soul as it has a positive influence on both mind and body
  • Limit your media consumption – reducing the time you spend following the news can help to reduce dependence and prevent you from feeling hit by a tidal wave of information and emotions
  • Explain the current situation to your child in age-appropriate terms – understanding reduces anxiety
  • Accept that your child may be more clingy than usual – physical closeness helps create a sense of safety and emotional connection
  • Plan things together that bring your happiness and joy – shared experiences provide us with a positive feeling of togetherness
  • Organise your time to avoid as much stress as possible – avoid discipling your child in a heavy-handed way and try as well to avoid using punishment. Use praise instead, to reinforce the behaviour you want to see from your child
  • Give each other time to retreat and withdraw in order to reduce conflicts
  • Keep in touch by phone, video call and by letter – staying connected with family, grandparents, friends and helpers gives us strength
  • Take account of existing custody and contact agreements – children need a secure relationship with both of their parents and need you working together to ensure they grow up happily and healthily
  • Be tolerant with yourself and with others – times of crisis cause a huge amount of stress that we cannot have prepared ourselves for
  • Get help – if you have any questions, uncertainties or concerns, the Parenting and Family Guidance Services are here to help