Navigating Lockdown 2.0

Navigating Lockdown 2.0

 

Here we go again. Thrown into another world of lockdown and online learning, questioning how we can protect our children whilst still ensuring they learn and develop, and trying to plan for a future that looks utterly unknown.

The staff at both Maitland Christian School and Arise Christian College are working hard to care for students’ overall wellbeing and educational progress through this lockdown phase. What should you do if you are struggling with all of these changes and need help beyond classroom or pastoral care teachers?

In light of recent events, it is completely normal to be feeling uncertain, worried, anxious and fearful of what the next week, month or even the rest of 2021 might hold. Many of us will have a million and one questions running through our minds, ranging from how can I provide for all the needs of my kids? to how do I stay sane while doing that? And although there is not one quick fix for these concerns or answer to these questions, here are some ideas to help you navigate lockdown 2.0.


Try to keep some routine


Despite the ever-changing world of restrictions and lockdowns, we can still have some degree of control over what our kids’ lives look like. Children thrive in a routine that is well-planned, predictable and regular. It helps them know what to expect, how to behave, and helps them feel safe, secure and looked after. Plus, routine is also great for us adults too! It helps us to feel organised and a little bit more in control, make our way through our to-do-lists more efficiently, and make time for activities that we find enjoyable and restful. It also allows us to plan in some quality family time. Eating dinner together, going outside to get some exercise and Vitamin D, playing a board game, or having a movie and pyjama night – having a routine enables us to allocate time for the things we, and our kids, love most.

Stay in contact with family and friends


Kids won’t be able to play or chat with their friends like they used to when running into them in the playground, and some kids might grieve this. Social interactions are essential for kids, and even adults, in helping them feel like a valued member of their community. You could schedule online play dates with your child’s friends from school, have a trivia or Pictionary night on Zoom with other families, or give distant relatives (i.e., grandparents) a call. Just because we are physically-distant, does not mean we have to be socially-distant.

Limit media consumption


The media (including social media) is a wonderful tool that helps people know what is happening in the world around them and stay in touch with family and friends. Although it is important to stay up to date and communicate with our loved ones, especially during a global pandemic, too much time spent engrossed in the media can lead to increased feelings of fear and anxiety. Interestingly, children are quite intuitive and are able to sense what we feel as adults. So, stay informed and connected, but be wary of how much time you engage with the online world.

Check-in on your kids


Times like these can cause a variety of feelings to arise in our children, and not every child will show these in the same way. Some kids may love the time at home, whereas others may miss seeing their friends. Some may be confused as to what’s going on, and some may be angry that we are in lockdown again and that plans have changed. Some kids may feel anxious about getting sick or lockdown being extended, and some might just be okay. It’s important that our kids feel heard, valued, and supported, no matter what they might be feeling.

Look after yourself


The above points are just as helpful for adults, as much as our kids. We get to be the safe place that our children need during these unprecedented times, but we also need to make sure that we have a safe place to land too.

Our Chaplaincy team are ready to assist you with support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them at [email protected] if you’d like some extra encouragement or care. They will work to email you back as quickly as they can. Alternatively, your church or youth pastor may be able to provide some extra help with your wellbeing at this time.

 

If you, your child, or a loved one need additional mental health support during this time, we encourage you to access support from the following organisations:

 

·       Lifeline: 13 11 14

 

·       Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

 

·       Parent Line NSW: 1300 1300 52

 

·       Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

 

Yours in Christ,

 

The MCS Welfare Team

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