Tips for families in home isolation
With the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak across New South Wales, Sydney Local Health District’s acting Psychology team leader Subodha Wimalaweera has these tips for parents and carers whose families may be placed in isolation at home.
“It’s important to have an age-appropriate discussion about staying at home rather than going to school or work. Explain to older children it’ll help to keep them healthy. For younger children, consider treating the two week isolation period as a stay-cation,” Subodha says.
“Acknowledge and address any of the questions your children may have about Covid-19 (coronavirus) but also have conversations about other topics too – whether it’s about their favourite sporting team, a book they’ve read or a game they’ve played,” Subodha says.
“Hop-up out of bed and have breakfast like you would do on every other day. For families with primary or high school students, consider eating morning tea and lunch at same time as the children would at school. And, keep their regular bedtimes too,” Subodha says.
“If your child isn’t able to attend school, check the arrangements for completing school work at home. A lot of high school students would already have laptops and work online. For younger students, chat to teachers about getting school work sent home,” Subodha says.
“Be creative – think about different arts and crafts projects children could make from everyday household items. Read with them. Play family board games or, if you have backyard, head outside for some physical exercise and fresh air,” Subodha says.
“Aim to keep your children’s existing screen time limits. Consider watching a movie together as a family rather than allowing children unlimited access to the TV or IPad. But, don’t be too hard on yourself if the limit’s stretched now and again,” Subodha says.
“Parents and carers need to manage their emotions. If a child sees you’re anxious they’ll begin to worry too. If you’re struggling, seek support from other family members and friends. Or, call organisations like Beyond Blue or Lifeline Australia if needed,” Subodha says.
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14