Lockdown Week 6
Something interesting has happened in the last week (week six of lockdown in the UK). I’ve noticed that more people seem to be airing their anxieties about the current situation. Perhaps that’s because of the increasing number of cases, maybe it’s due to the rise in furloughing and people being laid off, or maybe it’s just a growing sense of uncertainty about how the future will look.
Keep Kids Talking
Whatever it is, it’s actually an especially difficult time for our younger and older children, many of whom will be missing out on rites of passage such as prom, graduation ceremonies, parties, school activities, or even just simple proximity to their friends. Our children are likely to be experiencing a myriad of emotions at the moment – frustration, anger, sadness, confusion and a million and one other feelings. For teenagers, also dealing with hormonal changes, lockdown must be doubly challenging. This is why, now more than ever, we should be talking to and with our children, and letting them express their fears and frustrations. The games and activities we are providing for free during this time are an excellent tool to help your children and teens to develop the vital communication skills that they need in life, but research also shows that the very act of communicating as a family has additional benefits for our children.
Research and Studies
Children who spend time with their parents, participating in conversation and discussion together, build a positive sense of self-worth. Spending time together also builds strong emotional bonds, allowing families to adapt well to challenging situations together. Studies show that children who spend meaningful time with their parents are less likely to engage in risky behaviours, and they also show that spending time with your children in this way, and helping them with schoolwork or reading together, fosters an environment that can support and build your child’s academic achievement. Finally, of course, communication encourages more communication – even just asking your child about their day can really make a difference right now. At the moment, our children truly are a captive audience. Like all of us, they will be missing human interaction; this really is the perfect opportunity to interact, to converse, to debate!
To paraphrase Dickens – while we may be facing ‘the worst of times’, this is also an opportunity to engage in ‘the best of times’ with your children, and why it’s so important to keep kids talking.