How families stay hopeful during lockdown
It's been a tough year for many families. We have heard the challenges and worries faced by those most hit by lockdown. But parents and children are still finding ways to stay happy and hopeful.
We ran a survey to find out how families are coping as Christmas approaches. Here is what you need to know.
Find joy in small things. Live for today and don't worry too much about tomorrow, especially things we can't control.
Unemployment is on the increase and some parents are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Poverty has been linked with mental health conditions in adults and children. Over half of the young people we spoke to said they worry about their parent’s finances this Christmas.
But with every cloud there is a silver lining. 77% of all parents surveyed said that their children keep them the ‘most’ hopeful, despite all the extra jobs, including home-schooling, during lockdown. A similar number of parents (69%) felt that the pandemic had actually brought the family closer.
Facts and figures
of parents said their children’s mental health most concerned them
of parents worried about their children’s future
lockdown parent account
Finding joy in simple things
We interviewed parents to get a deeper understanding of how the pandemic has changed their relationship with their children. Mother of two, Nicole, told us ‘the hardest part has been losing a lot of the support structures we relied on, from grandparents to babysitters to after school activities.’
However, she also explained that lockdown has brought the family closer together. ‘It's been great to see how close our two girls have gotten. They play really well together, although they fight too! Kids are also amazing about finding joy in really simple things, like baking a cake or learning to ride a bike. Or even sorting laundry! Our children know that there is a pandemic, and that it is the reason for all of the changes in their lives.’
Nicole and her husband have shared the extra-load and split the work between them to ease the stresses of juggling home and work. Keeping the children busy is a priority, especially when they were out of school. She shared with us some poignant advice to any parents looking for a way to stay positive during lockdown.
Focus on the positives and how lucky we are to be together, healthy.
The results of our survey show how the pandemic is impacting us all in different ways. Money worries are not just on the minds of adults but of children too. We know from our services, this can lead to anxiety in young people and raise the risk of exploitation, especially online.
Our Chief Executive, Mark Russell said "it’s important to be able to spot the signs. We want to clearly emphasise the importance of talking and listening to children and all young people, which goes a long way in preventing the threat to their hopes, happiness and wellbeing.'
We know this is a hard time, especially for parents. That is why it is even more important to hold onto all the things that keep us optimistic and positive.
Children have a good sense of when their parents are stressed and will take on the family's worries. This can have an impact how they see their future. They may feel they need to downgrade their dreams based on the current situation. We can't let this happen. We must keep young people's hope alive.
This Christmas, we're stepping up the fight for the hopes and happiness of young people. And you can help by offering words of support to those who need it most.