Coronavirus in Ballarat: Free online program to help parents navigate COVID-19 pressures

Ten tips to help your parenting during COVID-19 lockdowns

Parents concerned about the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on their children will now be able to access a free parenting program.

Disruption, stress, social isolation and uncertainty can batter the resilience of children of all ages.

"Parenting in a pandemic is uncharted territory," said clinical psychologist and youth mental health researcher Dr Vanessa Cobham.

"It's natural to feel worried, upset or angry, and our children are experiencing a range of emotions too. Ongoing outbreaks of the virus and the return to tougher restrictions will be stressful for many families with worries about money, work and mental health."

Dr Cobham said family needs were changing as the pandemic progressed with children and adults affected by the see-sawing focus from health to the economy and personal circumstances.

"Most people find it hard to deal with uncertainty so, now more than ever, parents need to make sure family and wellbeing are a top priority," she said.

"Children need our help to tolerate the upheaval and stress, manage their fears and build resilience to deal with the ongoing uncertainty. Some children will take on parental concerns, while others might be worried about remote learning or missing friends and family.

IN OTHER NEWS

"Without that support, we can expect to see a spike in stress, anxiety and depression, which will stay with families long after the health crisis is over."

The Victorian Government and Triple P Parenting have launched a free online program, Triple P Online, to provide advice and strategies for parents and carers through six to eight online sessions, which includes one module with a focus on navigating the stress of the COVID-19 crisis.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR PARENTING DURING COVID-19

1. Reassure your child that your family is top priority

2. Take care of yourself the best you can

3. Make sure your children know you are ready to talk

4. Be truthful in answering a child's questions

5. Maintain everyday routines

6. Have a family plan

7. Have plenty of interesting things to do at home

8. Take notice of behaviour you like

9. Help children to tolerate uncertainty

10. Reach out and connect with loved ones

The free course is available at triplep.online/victoria.

This story Ten tips to help your parenting during COVID-19 lockdowns first appeared on The Courier.