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Information shared in response to primary parental concerns around COVID-19

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Published by vicki.harold, 2020-06-26 08:53:43

Educational Psychologist Sessions for Parents - All Saints

Information shared in response to primary parental concerns around COVID-19

Talking about COVID-19,
social distancing and return

to school

JUNE 2020

Talking about COVID-19

01 02 03 04 05

Be truthful and Allow your child to Give practical advice Provide lots of Try as far as possible
factual whilst being ask questions. about how they can reassurance. to manage your own
mindful of your help prevent the worries.
child’s developmental spread of the virus.

Its good to Ensure that the information you
talk share is from a good source such as
the NHS and Public Health England;
do not rely on information shared
via social media/media.

Explain the facts of what has and is
happening; do not be tempted to
give information that is not wholly

1. Be truthful Make sure explanations and discussions are age appropriate.
but remember
your child’s Younger children may like a cartoon or story
age Younger children and children with additional needs may also
benefit from a social story. There is a link to this in the resources

Older children may appreciate a more factual ‘news’ style
(CBBC’s Newsround has lots of helpful videos available online).

For those who have access to social media, it is important to
emphasise the likelihood of misinformation being shared on
these platforms and to reiterate reliable sources of information.

2. Allow Some children may ask the
children to same questions repeatedly and
ask may need more reassurance.
Listen as much as you can.

3. Give hand washing
advice coughing and sneezing into
tissues and disposing of these

social distancing

4. Provide Remain calm yourself.
Provide as much reassurance as
possible about the virus particularly
around the risk to children.

Where children and young people
seem worried or anxious try and
understand what they might be
anxious about.

5. Try to Limit access to news on the television
manage and the internet and avoid unreputable
your own sources.
Be mindful of when you are watching
coverage, e.g. ideally not just before you
go to bed.

Model calmness and share your own
coping strategies.

Social distancing

Put it in perspective One (not the only) Manage anxiety Remove
method of infection (around ‘breaking responsibility for
infection spread
control the rules’)

Clear Keep up to date on Be aware of your Think of ways of
communication of guidelines & the child’s age (and maintaining
school expectations law your expectations)
& behaviour policy physical contact

Think of ways of
still building

Virtual hug

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC

Return to Preparation - Provide clear information about environment
school – Building relationships beforehand
preparation Mechanisms for talking about worries
What will children be doing?
Who will be in their bubble? How will friendship groups be maintained?
Staff and parent confidence
Create a feeling of safety and what safety means (not absolute)
What is most significant for you child at this stage (e.g. key transition stages)?
Importance of play – how can this be optimised?
Importance of being outdoors – how can his be maximised?


“One thing I
wish my teacher


Being back in Emotional well-being/space
school should Metacognition
look different…. Relationships
Transparent curriculum
e.g. Recovery Community

Resources A cartoon video explaining more about the Coronavirus appropriate for primary school aged children:

A short story about the Coronavirus for children who like pictures; also useful for children and young people with
social communication needs (e.g. Autism):

A cartoon superhero story to explain the Coronavirus and what you could do to fight it: https://www.elsa-

A comic explaining what the Coronavirus is and what might change or be different for you:

The BBC Newsround website has lots of helpful and factual videos about Coronavirus:

The MindHeart Covibook supports conversations about the virus with younger children:

STARSTEAM has lots of useful ideas for transition including some social stories and return to school

Anticipating and supporting
long term effects of COVID 19

JUNE 2020

What do you feel these are?



Which boat are
you in?

• Avoid making presumptions and

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Neuroscience of Mental Health (Panksepp)






Hierarchy of needs

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA


Make Adults can make children feel safe
Provide Provide accurate and developmentally appropriate information
Empower Empower children by modelling and supporting risk taking behaviour
Minimise Minimise risk factors
Manage Manage their own anxiety
Contain Contain children’s anxiety

SOCIAL - Building connections

Peers Family School Transition

Building emotional resilience and risk taking


EMOTIONAL – Building communication
and regulation

1 2 10

1 345

“One thing I
wish my

Reframing thoughts

3. Catch it! Try to spot when you have a thought that isn’t helpful.

2. Check it! Stop and think about the thought.

3. Change it! Try to substitute the thought for one that is more realistic, positive
and/or hopeful.

Reframing I don’t want to go back to
children’s school
I like being off school
Everyone has to go to school

I used to enjoy school and
seeing my friends

Reframing I’m worried about my child going
adult back to school and getting the virus, I
thoughts might keep them off school

I’ll check the facts about how people
catch the virus especially children

I’m worried about my children
catching the virus but I understand
that school will be as safe as possible,


• Remote learning – considering ongoing
support needed

• Focus on metacognition - Engagement and
motivation, confidence

• Re-building existing and ‘lost’ skills –
adjusting the pace

• Home-school communication
• Setting reasonable expectations
• Government funding
• Recovery curriculum

Being back in Emotional well-being/space
school should Metacognition
look different…. Relationships
Transparent curriculum
e.g. Recovery Community

Healthy Young Minds website:

Bedtime stories and mindfulness and relaxation audio stories for children of all ages:

Useful links Yoga and mindfulness videos:

For children and young people with communication needs, printable symbols to support
understanding of new routines and reduce anxiety around changes:

The Anna Freud Centre has a page on strategies with young people themselves have found
useful when feeling anxious:

STARSTEAM has lots of useful transition ideas:

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