To respond to school closures and isolation measures, parenting experts have created a new set of evidence-based resources for parents and caregivers to support their children’s growth – and interact with them constructively – during this time of confinement. They have also developed a social media kit to encourage the sharing of these messages more widely. Download and share these resources to support caregivers and keep children safe.
As of the end of March, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced more than 1.5 billion children out of school. As of today, 80 per cent of the world’s students are learning at home, and 138 countries have issued nationwide school closures. Now more than ever before, it’s crucial for caregivers to practise positive parenting, cope with stress productively, and support their children in new, creative ways.
Though isolation during this time is essential, the current number of out-of-school students is unprecedented. Most likely, it will only continue to grow as the virus spreads, affecting both students and their families across the world. While school closures disrupt children’s learning, routines, and support systems, they also add stress on family members who are facing increased economic vulnerability or are struggling to work remotely. Such stress can lead to higher rates of abuse and exploitation, something that has occurred time and time again in previous public health crises.
In addition, school closures mean that children spend more of their time online – and whether they are completing schoolwork, taking classes, or playing games, they are at higher risk of grooming, sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and other online threats, especially when coupled with an increased number of adults working from home and under prolonged isolation.
To tackle these challenges, parents and caregivers can now access a set of evidence-based resources and social media messages, developed by parenting experts across the world, to learn to better support their children during this challenging time.
Positive parenting: a new set of resources for caregivers
To help caregivers cope with this new reality, a team of experts developed a new set of resources on positive parenting during the outbreak. The experts behind these resources represent the World Health Organization, UNICEF, End Violence, Internet of Good Things, Parenting for Lifelong Health, USAID, UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Hub, and the Centres for Disease Control. Learn more about this resource here.
The result of this collaboration is a package of information on different topics, including:
- Making the most of one-on-one time with your children
- Keeping positive amidst an unsettling situation
- Providing structure and stability for your children’s day
- Coping with bad behaviour in positive, healthy ways
- Keeping calm and managing stress, both for yourself and for your children
- Talking about COVID-19 by being honest, supportive and attentive to your children’s needs
- Keeping children safe online
- Family budgeting in times of financial stress
- Family harmony at home
- Learning through play
- When we get angry
- Parenting in crowded homes and communities
These resources are currently available in English, and have now been translated into over 35 different languages. They also include links to additional resources on each topic, helping caregivers access trusted, evidence-based activities to support their children and encourage their positive development. Share them widely with your digital networks by using the social media kit (located below in the materials section of this article), which will help spread the tips to parents and caregivers throughout the globe. As of September 2020, they have already been shared with 64 million families across the world.
Download these resources through the links above or below. Additional languages can be accessed at this link.
Photo credit: © UNICEF/UNI313392/McIlwaine