‘Don’t make a drama’: a survival guide for parents during family isolation
Nerys Hughes, clinical director of Whole Child Therapy, acknowledges that creating a routine for children is important. But she warns parents against taking on the role of their child’s teacher if it causes conflict, not least because stress hormones can make people more susceptible to a viral infection. “Your number one job as a parent at the moment is to keep your children well and that means looking after their mental health as well as their physical health,” she says.
Instead of worrying that children are not doing enough schoolwork, parents should view the enforced break as an opportunity for some child-led, individualised learning, which most schools struggle to offer. “I would say to the child: let’s write down all the different things that you could use this time to learn, do and experience. Then every morning, ask them to put a schedule together, made up of those things,” says Hughes.