Supporting children’s emotional needs whilst keeping your distance

Updated: 30/05/20

Supporting children’s emotional needs whilst keeping your distance

When returning to school, members of staff outside of the group/bubble are asked to keep distance. This may be a particular challenge to pastoral/support staff providing emotional support to children and young people. Here are some practical ideas:

A washable cuddly toy

Drawing activities

Walk and talk

Hope clouds:

Reading together

Mindfulness activities

Breathing activities:

Writing activities

Supporting children throughout activities:

  • Acknowledge losses, fears and other emotions when present.
  • Provide reassurance that the thoughts, feelings and reactions are a normal part of recovering from the losses associated with the pandemic, even though they may be upsetting, and that they will lessen in intensity over time.
  • Help children and young people to feel safe in their contributions.
  • Celebrate strengths and progress.
  • Have supportive and trusted adults available to help in case children and young people become overwhelmed by their feelings and reactions.
  • Remind children and young people of their coping strategies through your genuine observations and knowledge of them.
  • Focusing any discussions around group collaborative, practical activities or tasks can be helpful with additional adults to support.

(From Transition, recovery and learning in the aftermath of the pandemic, BiBorough)