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What do I do if my child won't stay home?
Advice for parents whose children are refusing to comply with the COVID-19 lockdown rules:
- It’s important for parents/carers to have clear and strong messages with their children about why it’s important to abide by the rules. For example, remind your child that this is for their safety, for yours and the people around them.
- Remind them it is not a punishment, it’s temporary and things will go back to normal.
- Think about whether a compromise is possible, e.g. increased time spending talking on the phone or through video messaging with their friends or making sure they have space in the home to have private calls or be on their own.
- Talk to them about what might help at this time, reassure them that you understand how difficult this is, that it won’t last forever and perhaps come up with a few things that might help your child stay in the home.
- When they do go out for their one bit of exercise a day, ensure you set some expectations for them e.g. they should remain in public spaces (e.g. a local park) and not go into other people’s homes or meet up with anyone else. Remind them that being with people who they do not live with is breaking the law and a police officer will separate them and may fine them or you.
- If you are a parent or carer needing more support or advice, call the Parents Helpline for free on 0808 802 5544. Alternatively, you can complete the online contact form and they will be in touch within three working days.
- If you need further help after speaking to one of the Helpline Advisors, they can refer you to one of their mental health specialists – who range from psychotherapists to psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses. They will arrange a phone consultation within 7 days of your call and during the consultation, will be able to explore your concerns and provide clinical insights and suggest coping strategies.