Te Kowhai School - To Be Our Very Best

Well-being at home 

Information and resources to support well-being at home

Website link: Realtime Resilience - Copy during COVID-19

We all have an important job to do while Aotearoa New Zealand is at COVID-19 Alert Level 4. Whether you are in your physical isolation ‘bubble’ at home, or working to deliver an essential service, you are helping to save lives.

It’s important to take care of yourself  and your child/ren’s wellbeing – Remember your feelings are completely normal – it’s understandable to feel sad, distressed, worried, confused, anxious or angry during this crisis.

Wellbeing is a continuum and we’re likely to find ourselves at various points over the coming weeks and months. The main points from our experts (i.e. Nigel Latta) are to try and increase calm and peace and reduce any conflict.

You are an important role model for your children and young people. Staying calm and enabling time and space to be together with your child/ren will help them adjust to this “new normal”.  Helping children and young people cope with the changes caused by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) means providing accurate information, discussing facts without causing undue alarm, and re-establishing routines.  You can express your feelings but base your words on facts and truth, and model how you want children and young people around you to behave.

Children and young people look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If you seem overly worried, your children’s anxiety may rise. You can reassure your child/ren that everyone is working together, from the Prime Minster down, to help people throughout the country stay healthy and to limit the spread of this virus. Remember, COVID-19 may never come to your place or to your community.

What are some ways you could chat with your kids about COVID-19?

Your child will follow your lead. Here’s some tips on what you can say about the virus and what’s happening in New Zealand and what you can do to support their wellbeing.  

  • You can say; yes, there are some people unwell with COVID-19 in New Zealand— which is the reality of a pandemic

  • We all need to work together and help each other. Schools are closed to stop the spread of the virus and we are self-isolating to help prevent our people getting sick and having to go to hospital

  • Most of the people who initially had the disease got this from overseas and are now getting better. That is why we have now closed the borders in New Zealand. We want to stop people with the disease entering New Zealand

  • Because there is some virus spread between people in New Zealand, everyone in the community is being especially careful to isolate now, to make sure as few people as possible get sick

  • It is important that everyone treats each other with respect, and not jump to conclusions about who may or may not have COVID-19.

  • Let’s keep up to date with the latest news — but not all the time though. When shall we check in with the latest news (once a day for this information)?

  • What else are you interested in? Let’s find out more about that together.

  • What messages are you hearing from your friends, let’s help them keep their focus on the important stuff, helping others, keeping in contact and keeping active, planning fun things.

  • If there is no one with the virus in your family, or in your community, and no one has had close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, emphasise to children and young people that they, their friends, teachers and your family are well.

  • Remind them that you and everyone in the community are helping to keep them safe and healthy. Create the space to enable children and young people to talk about their feelings.

If they are feeling worried or anxious, you can support simple calming activities such as breathing exercises. This works for adults too, so feel free to join in.  Gently hold their thumb – have them breathe slowly in and out, count out loud, “ 1”,  move to their pointer finger – have them breathe slowly in and out, count “2”, move to their middle finger and repeat, count “3”, move across just one hand and count to “5”, or both hands to count to “10”.  Can they do it for you?  Sparklers has a range of calming activities for young children you could try . Visit the Sparkler website.

There are some great online apps for this as well. Get children or young people to explore these. Visit Headspace website for examples of a range of things that help people keep calm and activities that help with sleep. Support them to share the helpful activities with their friends.

If your child or young person feels overwhelmed, or that things are feeling out of control, remember that offering simple choices or options can help, i.e. shall we do this, or this? Or would they like to use this, or that?  

Ensure you spend some time together as a family - ask your child/ren would they like to do a puzzle or listen while you read a story? For older children, allow time online for young people to positively connect with their friends.

Keep moving - Exercise helps your mind and body to release tension and stress; it energises you by releasing feel-good endorphins. Find ways to move your body and your mood every day. You and your family can still go outside for a walk, run or cycle, as long as you stay in your ‘bubble’.

Be strong and be kind (especially to yourself) – 

we’re going to get through this.