As we face the prospect of more time in lockdown, many of us find ourselves making more adjustments and looking for new ways to cope. As a parent, you know that your children are still relying on you for support. You want to give them everything they need, but it isn’t always easy – especially when you’re dealing with your own worries.
Generally speaking, parents who focus on supporting each other as a couple, are more likely to be able to deal with the stresses of parenting . If you can listen to each other, share the burden, and present a united front, you’ll find it gets easier to come to agreements about parenting . Your children will cope better too – they’ll be less likely to feel sad or anxious, or to act out through stress .
With guidelines frequently changing and the future still unclear, it can be hard to know what to tell your children about everything that’s going on. After many months of upheaval, they may even have their own ideas.
With so much uncertainty and so many new developments, you might want to protect them from knowing too much. It’s natural to want to protect your children but shielding them from difficult news can actually be worse for them than just answering their questions. It’s usually best just to tell the truth.
Generally, if your child is ready to ask a question, they are ready to hear the answer. You don’t have to tell them everything – keep their age in mind, and only tell them as much as is necessary to answer their question. They can always ask a follow-up question if they want to know more.
If you don’t know something, say so. There’s still a lot we’re not sure about and it’s better to be honest. If there’s something you’re not comfortable answering, you could try asking your child why they’ve asked that particular question. You could also ask them what they already know, as this can help you understand where they’re coming from.
Children are reassured by the information they get from their parents, and it’s helpful for them to know they can rely on you  . When they feel informed about what’s going on, they can get on with being kids again.
Some younger children might find it hard to talk about their worries. Very young children often don’t have the words to describe what they’re feeling. One thing you can do to help them express themselves is to get them drawing. Grab some pens or pencils and invite them to draw something that shows how they’re feeling. Children can often find it easier to express themselves in this way .
It can be hard to find time to relax, especially if you’re trying to fit home schooling around working from home. But, if you can, try to build in some time for fun activities with the children – even it’s just playing or reading together.
When you look back on all this, you might find that your role has just been to help your children stay calm and healthy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves to do anything more than that. Take it a day at a time and keep looking after each other – that’s all anyone can really ask of you.
 Brown, 2012
 Zemp, Milek, Cummings, & Bodenmann, 2017
 Zemp, Bodenmann, Backes, Sutter-Stickel, & Revenson, 2016.
 Kennedy, V. L., & Lloyd‐Williams, M., 2009
 Osborn, T., 2007
 Eiser & Twamley, 1999