Tooled Up Education

Researchers of the Month: Dr Hope Christie and Dr Lucy Hiscox Discuss the Impact of the Pandemic on Parents

Our researchers of the month, Dr Hope Christie and Dr Lucy Hiscox, talk to Dr Weston about their recent paper, which examines the impact that lockdowns had on parents. This ‘rapid review’ of 32 other studies was commissioned by SAGE and the Department for Education and will inform government policy. They discuss the various harms experienced by parents and interventions that might be able to mitigate the negative effects, consider the role of schools in identifying and helping children at risk of domestic violence and explore the link between parental mental health and that of children.

Dealing with Challenging Situations (Activity for Children)

Helping children to reframe challenges is an important part of building their resilience. When they come up against a difficult situation,
they might focus on the negatives and feel despondent, sad or angry. This quick and simple activity can help them to acknowledge how they feel, whilst encouraging them to look for any positives and consider the proactive things that they could do to make themselves feel happier. Ask them how they feel after they have done it. Has it made them feel a little better?

Explaining Covid to Children: Useful Books and Resources

With COVID-19 now part of our lives, there is a growing body of resources that help to explain the virus in a child-friendly way and support young people’s wellbeing. We’ve rounded up the best books and videos for children of all ages.

Dr Weston Talks with Andy Robertson: The Benefits of Gaming

In this podcast, Dr Weston talks to gaming and family technology expert Andy Robertson. They discuss all of the positive learning opportunities that games can offer and the optimal ways to engage with children about their digital world. They explore games which promote critical thinking, empathy and better communication and examine how the skills developed through gaming can translate to other scenarios.

Stress Less: Understanding and Addressing Your Anxiety Triggers

Whilst this might feel easier said than done at the moment, during this critical period in our children’s lives, parental worries and stresses need to be managed as well as possible. We know that anxiety can run in families and that parental mental health is highly correlated with children’s mental health. So, this is definitely the time to think about self-care and prioritise being kind to yourself.

Use our list of potential worry points to identify stress triggers in your life. How do these contexts or scenarios make you feel? Our evaluative tool will help you to narrow down the key areas in your life where your levels of stress are high.

Keeping Active at Home: 50 Fun Ideas

Encouraging children to stay active can feel tricky, and was especially difficult when we were stuck at home. It’s really important that they keep moving and try to get a minimum of 60 minutes physical activity each day. These 50 fun ideas to keep their activity levels up are just as good now as they were during lockdown. Why not download a PDF, hand it to them and see how many they can do!

100 Things to Suggest if Your Child Complains They Are Bored

All children will complain of being bored from time to time. Use our list of activities to make suggestions for children of all ages. You can also download a PDF, including all 100 ideas. You could cut them out and pop them in a ‘boredom jar’. Any time that your child feels bored, they can pick one out and have a go! If you make a jar, save the PDF, or refer back to this page for links to external resources.

20 Tooled Up Tips for Parenting in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns are challenging families in numerous ways. Nurturing our mental fitness, trying to maintain some balance in our lives and ensuring that our children feel supported, are all crucially important in creating harmony at home during this tricky period. Read our top 20 lockdown survival tips here.