During this time of social distancing, our social relationships are changing. Communication that would have happened in person is now happening online. Young people who would be at school are staying home, seeing a lot more of their families and a lot less of their teachers and friends; at the same time, the internet affords more opportunities to stay in touch than ever before.
That comes with opportunities as well as risks, and makes trying to have healthy relationships in these uncertain times for important than ever.
In order to support young people and their families through this time, Tender have put together this list of useful resources we’ve found that look at how to maintain healthy relationships during this period. Some of these are articles of useful information and advice; some of them are games or resources for students who would normally be at school but are having to stay at home. Some of them might be things a whole family would want to look at together; others you might want to read on your own.
FOR PRIMARY-AGE CHILDREN:
The NSPCC’s ‘Underwear Rule’ helps young children learn the difference between safe and unsafe touching in a safe and fun way. You can also access information for BSL users about the NSPCC’s Underwear Rule for BSL users here.
The NSPCC also produced a ‘Share Aware’ resource, complete with lesson plans and videos, for exploring online safety.
Be SMART: Childnet have released six new easy-to-follow videos for parents and children aged 6-9 years old to work through together. The 10 – 15 minute videos offer simple, clear online safety advice using fun activities, games and discussion. There are optional follow-up activities to extend children’s learning.
Place2Be has put together a series of resources focused on community recovery, to help headteachers and school staff beginning to bring their schools back together. Drawing on themes including hope, gratitude and connectedness, these assembly and class activity ideas are intended as a universal resource for all children, and staff are invited to use them as starting points to promote emotional wellbeing and resilience for all. Download the Primary Resources: https://www.place2be.org.uk/media/yesltwzt/primaryschoolresources.pdf
Coram has released a toolkit designed to build children’s resilience, self-esteem and kindness and includes practical resources. There are also adaptations for parents and carers of children who are learning at home. The toolkit is suitable for children in early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The toolkit features:
· Teacher guidance and support including how to develop a safe space for children to discuss their worries about Covid-19, and how to respond to those concerns
· Lesson plans and assembly resources including activities, films, games, songs and stories, adaptable for smaller class sizes and to be used outdoors, building understanding of the situation, for example, ‘why our classroom has changed’ and ‘how to keep each other safe’
Altius Teaching School have devised Mental Wellbeing resources and lesson plans to help teachers who are currently working with pupils or preparing for schools to re-open. The plans are aimed at a variety of ages at both primary and secondary level.
FOR SECONDARY-AGE YOUNG PEOPLE:
The PSHE Association has lots of great free resources on their website which are suitable for both primary and secondary-aged students. There are some great resources in this lesson plan for older students to think about and make sense of relationships.
ThinkUKnow have created a page to support parents and young people online. The site includes home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities support children’s understanding of online safety at a time. There is also parent support information for primary and secondary age groups.
The New Zealand Government has just launched new resources to support parents and carers to discuss a variety of online safety topics.
These are accompanied by videos that explore the challenges for parents, as well as for young people, in having these conversations: You can find the videos and resources here: https://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz/
The Children’s Society has a range of support materials for young people, parents and schools in their mental and emotional health resource ‘vault’ including:
· Depression and Mood
· Obsessive compulsive disorder
· Self care
· Emotional resilience
· Mental Resilience
The resources can be found here: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/coronavirus-information-and-support
The Children’s Society also offer some useful advice on how to deal with conflicts when you’re spending more time than expected at home.
Fumble have a huge range of accessible, informative articles designed to educate about different aspects of relationships and mental health.
Young Minds – With social media more essential than ever to stay connected, it’s really important to reflect on how we use it. Social media can be really helpful in helping us maintain healthy relationships; but using it in unhealthy ways can be bad for our mental health. Their webpage contains reading and activities to help you reflect on how your social media use affects your mental health.
The Guardian: with schools closed, children and young people are having to find other ways of ensuring they can keep learning while at home. This is a great article on the different learning apps and education software that are out there.
Remember, if you or any member of your family needs support around relationships during this time, you can find a list of services that can help on the BBC website.