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Why do my parents have to go to work?

At Learning & Wellbeing Psychology, we have been thinking carefully about the worries children may have, and how as parents, teachers, friends and communities we can support them. We also wanted to offer support for the difficult conversation that adults are having with children. We thought that children may have very big worries about people they care about dying and how hard it is to approach talking with children about things which might be bothering them so much that they cannot put them into words. After all, we don't want to add to their concerns, or create ones which had not been bothering them before we tried to be helpful!

As in our previous blog about 'Why do I have to go to school?', this Leventhal-Belfer social story is designed as a response to messaging such as 'Stay safe, Stay home'.  It seemed important to us to do some thinking about ways adults might talk with children about this worry, especially as none of us can be sure what might happen in the current situation. Indeed, it is a real worry that many of us might have. We were thinking of Key Stage Two (Years 3-6) aged children as we wrote it.


In thinking about this social story, we stuck with the seven planning prompts we discussed in our previous blog:

  1. What is the dilemma, difficulty or theme that the child is struggling with?

  2. What sorts of feelings do people have in these situations? What feelings does the child we are writing the story for have? Are we giving the message that these feelings make sense?

  3. What does the child need to know about the situation to make better sense of it?

  4. What action can all people take so that they don't get sick and to stop other people getting sick?

  5. What are the adults doing to help each other? Are we being clear about the responsibilities that adults have?

  6. What can the child do to help other people? Is it age-appropriate?

  7. What strategies can we offer to start a conversation about ways the child can cope? Do the things we suggest promote social connectedness?

Again, we think that the idea of 'sticking to your bubble' rather than 'stay safe, stay home', might work better for children as it can help them to see safety as something we do with each other and something which is active that can happen both outside and inside the house, if we all take some simple steps. Do change and adapt the social story for your child and your specific situation if you use it. Please let us know your thoughts!

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