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How to keep things normal for children during COVID

Hello, my name is Nadine Zeferino. I am 22 years old. I have a three year old called Kamiyah-lee.

I’ve recently joined Straight Talking as a peer educator, and I really enjoy it. I work two jobs, so on a regular day. I would take Kamiyah to nursery and go to work or leave her with her dad while I’m at my other job. This is tiring because I wouldn’t get time for myself until the weekends and I am always on the go.

On the 20th March, we were told that the Coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) had gotten out of control, which led to a decision putting all households on lockdown to stop the spread of the disease.

When I first heard the news, I was in shock as it was my last day at one of my jobs and I was scared to think what would happen with my income as I had just taken an enormous gamble leaving. I feared I made the wrong decision. I didn’t really take in what was really going to happen and how it was going to affect my day to day life mentally & physically.

COVID had made typical day to day tasks like food shopping almost impossible. 80% of the time I would just buy what I could find which is frustrating. Now especially being on a tight budget due to income I had to re-organise what I spent on as now a lot more food was needed. I started learning to say no to my daughter, which was something I now realise she wasn’t used to.

Two weeks in and I can only try to look at the positives. We are in circumstances that are so hard to get your head around. The more we can do to avoid the virus spreading helps us be more at ease and hopeful for the future and get back to normality. As a mum, it’s hard to explain to your child or distract them from what’s happening. Here are a few tips I would share to make this process easier.

Staying active around the house which can be exercising, cleaning & cooking. Trying new meals as well as involving them where you are giving them a sense of fulfilment as they would feel they cooked or helped.

Finding and trying new activities to do and working on your routine. This could be potty training your child or other things you may have struggled with or want to work on like sleeping habits. I was able to teach my daughter to sleep in her room as I had more time to give into helping her and more patience as I wasn’t tired from work.

Trying to stay positive. Reach out to family you don’t get to speak to so often and involve the kids. My grandfather lives in Portugal and I FaceTime him more often so Kamiyah is able to build a relationship and become more familiar with him.

This is what I’ve done so far. How about you? What are you doing with your child? Let us know we would love to hear from other young families and what are the biggest struggles

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