Children 1st Parentline to continue to be there for Scotland’s families

As the Scottish Government announces school closures from this Friday (20th March) to delay the spread of COVID19, Children 1st are determined to provide continued emotional and practical support to families through community services where it is safe to do so and through the charity’s Scotland-wide Parentline service offered by phone, online and email service.

Parentline can offer advice and support to families worried about how to cope with a long period together in a small space, how to keep their children busy; facing financial uncertainties or uncertain about how to balance work and childcare. As well as providing one to one family support through webchat, email, or by phone on 08000 28 22 33, Children 1st’s Parentline service has started providing specific tips and advice for all families on its webpages: children1st.org.uk/parentline

Parentline will regularly update its content with advice about how to talk to your children if they are worried about the coronavirus, how to look after yourself and your family if you need to stay at home and ideas to keep your children entertained.

Anne Jarvis, Children 1st Parentline Scotland supervisor said: "This is an anxious time for everybody, and as more families need to stay at home with children for a long period of time, parents will face additional stresses and challenges.

"Being isolated could be particularly hard for families who are already facing complex challenges, particularly if their normal sources of support need to change. Because Parentline offers support to families online, on the phone and via email, 7 days a week, 365 days a year we can continue to provide this through the coming weeks and we want every family to know that if they need us, we’re here."

As measures to delay the spread of COVID19 intensify Parentline is offering the following advice to families, as schools closures are announced:

Structure the days and get into a routine

Having a wee routine to get everyone organised and so everyone knows what is happening, when can be a big help. Children are used to having a timetable for the school day, a similar approach at home in the coming weeks will help to make a strange situation seem more ’normal’.

See a messy house as a happy house

Cut yourself some slack if the house isn’t perfect. After all, kindness, love and looking after each other is more important. When the clutter gets too much, ask the kids to help with the laundry and cleaning – you can even make it a game or a competition.

Manage your own worries and look after yourself

It’s a very worrying time right now, and while it’s important to have honest conversations with children, it’s also important to try and keep calm and manage our own fears when talking to them to help them to feel safe. Children will be anxious and concerned because their parents and carers are. Take time to look after yourself. If you feel anxious and need someone to talk to, Parentline can offer some help and relief: call 08000 28 22 33 free or visit children1st.org.uk/parentline