Try not to shield your child from the news, as it’s likely they will find out somehow from school, being online or from friends.
Talk to your child about what is going on. you could start by asking them what they have heard.
Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking can help them feel calm.
Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do you feel ill you will look after them. Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. Let them know the kind of support you have as an adult so that they don’t feel they need to worry about you.
Give some practical tips to your child about how they can look after themselves. For example, show them how to wash their hands properly, and remind them when they should be doing it.
Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (e.g. reading, playing, painting, cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. For activities ideas, visit our starting a conversation with your child guide.
Encourage your child to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
Be aware that your child may want more close contact with you at this time and feel anxious about separation. Try to provide this support whenever possible.
Remember to look after yourself too. If you yourself are feeling worried, or anxious about coronavirus, talk to someone you trust who can listen and support you.
Mind-ed has some fantastic resources and training modules to help you to understand teenage mental health, and to equip you with extra strategies to support your child.
Parents Survival Guide
Parenting isn’t always easy. Although it’s often amazing and rewarding to watch your children grow, and to help them learn to be independent, it can also be really hard work.
Family Lives is a charity with over three decades of experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life.
Get advice and support whenever you need it. Online or by phoning the helpline 0808 800 2222
Parenting Courses with Cambridgeshire County Council
We understand that parents / carers may sometimes want or need some extra help or information to better equip them to deal with parenting issues. We offer a range of free courses to help you and raise yours and your child's confidence and self-esteem.
Supporting Adult Mental Health
Parents and carers can need some extra support from time to time too.
The following websites may help you access support if you need it.
We can help you make choices about treatment, understand your rights or reach out to sources of support.
Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We're here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call 116 123 for free or visit their website.
Thrive is an evidence-based smartphone application providing in-depth tools and support for anyone to improve their mental wellbeing
Specialist Parenting Support
Helping Cambridgeshire parents who have children with additional needs and disabilities.
Pinpoint Cambridgeshire is run for parents – by parents.
We give help and information to parent carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities, and give parent carers opportunities to have a say and get involved in improving local services.
The Parent Partnership Service providing Cambridgeshire's SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offers impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers who have a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability or have concerns that their child has special educational needs.
They also offer impartial and confidential information, advice and support to young people and children with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability or who have concerns they may have special educational needs.
Welcome to SENDIASS
We offer information, advice and support about education, health and socialcare. This is private, confidential and we don’t take sides (impartial).
We support you in the way you would like e.g. email, phone call, face to face etc.
We won’t take any action without discussing it with you and you agreeing this is what you want, unless by law we have to e.g. Safeguarding.
We will make sure you receive the information, advice and support you ask for.
We will keep you up to date on anything you have asked us to do.
We will try to make sure you are able to take part as much as you want to in the support you receive and decisions that affect you.
We will help you discuss issues with your parents/carers and professionals, recognising you are entitled to make your own decisions, and for them to be respected, even if other people do not agree with them.
We want you to tell us what you think of our service. We will keep this private.
Autism Anglia is an independent charity which provides care and support to children, adults and families affected by autism in East Anglia.
The Cambridge Branch of the National Autistic Society provides support to individuals of all ages with autism, and their families and carers, and campaigns for better local services for those living with autism in Cambridgeshire.
Inclusion and Wellbeing Lead