Parent Talk service offers crucial lockdown support

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

More than one in three parents admit to feeling overwhelmed or “out of their depth” when it comes to supporting their children’s wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research from charity Action for Children reveals that children have been suffering from isolation, night terrors, and increased aggressive behaviour during lockdown.

The study has been published to mark the launch of the charity’s online service Parent Talk, which aims to connect parents with expert coaches to help them cope.

The research involved a survey of more than 2,000 parents. A third said that their children are feeling lonely and isolated, while three in 10 said they were anxious about the pandemic, while one in four reported that their children are struggling to sleep.

This is having a knock-on effect on the wellbeing of parents, with four in 10 saying they feel anxious themselves and one in three feeling out of their depth in supporting their children.

Behaviour or side-effects reported by the parents include children bed-wetting, becoming “clingy and unsure” and “not wanting to go outside”. Others reported “disordered eating”, that their child had become “weepy”, “frustrated” or “scared of people” outside their home.

The Parent Talk online service connects parents and carers with trained parenting coaches. It offers confidential one-to-one online chat.

Lynn Giles, Parent Talk manager, said: “Huge numbers of children will need extra support over the coming months and parents are telling us they don’t know where to turn. As the immediate health crisis passes we now need to turn our attention to the scars coronavirus has left on families struggling with a whole new reality – with many grieving from having lost loved ones and others worrying about their jobs and their futures.”

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