Today has been all about the kids. Not my kids obvs – they are raising themselves with an iPad and a jar of nutella..but all kids. I have been part of a research paper launched today on making sure children are heard so I will post that later. Then I had a life affirming chat with a pal who is an amazing childrens’ therapist on how we get them ready for the next bit. Some thoughts we mused on:
1. Make masks for the whole family. Fun and in bright colours. I will post some links on how other countries have designed these and various newspapers have patterns to sew them. We will be asked to wear masks but not be able to get masks.
2. Unpick any promises you made to them gently. If you told them that things go back to normal/ they can go back to the school when the corona has gone, maybe explore with them that we have to live with this for a while. This means that school may be very different. 
3. Looking at other nations, we will have to live with high levels of contact tracing and technology but hopefully this will mean we can have actual contact again with family and friends. Start making plans for that. Not sure we will ever do soft play again though.
4. Our kids’ guard is down at the moment. They are out clapping on the street then waving to neighbours, and then most crucially they are doing a lot more online than ever before. They are learning to trust people on tablets, joining chat groups and setting up emails. The need to safeguard them during this is more important than ever. There is great advice on places like the NSPCC website. Act on any concerns.
5. Carry on with all the great community stuff we have been doing. Needed more than ever. I love the way locally our children are such a part of our response, with birthday banners and teddy bear displays and chalking all over the pavement. 
6. Practice your Hakuna Matata. You will actually go totally mad if you don’t stop worrying. Remember what we talked about continuously for the last two months. What will be, will be. 
7. I am SO impressed with the certificates that local areas have been providing for kids. Mine were made up with theirs. Saying well done and thank you are huge in this.
8. Big shout out to all the little kids raising money tonight. Thats a great way to encourage altruism and resilience. Mine prepare for the Clap from about Monday morning and know its for all the people working to help people. 
9. Explore ‘bad’ behaviour and anxiety gently with them. Mine have a lot of concerns about the people they love and rather unsurprisingly the little one is very interested in death. It comes out in play. Our playmobil village has got a nasty disease outbreak right now.
10. Whatever is right for your family is right. There is some science but there is also a lot of guessing. So learn to do your own risk assessment for your own circumstances. Remember those posts that I did about trusting your guts, listen hard to those bellies.

Right, I’m off to B and Q…

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