We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus pandemic. Sign up to the Life newsletter for daily tips, advice, how-tos and escapism.
“You’re only staying inside because of me. If I threw myself headfirst out of a window, this would all be over wouldn’t it?” As a mother, Jenny Hobbs felt her heart plummet when she heard her older son Stanley’s words. She desperately tried to reassure him and calm him down – knowing how hard he has found the coronavirus pandemic and all the ways it has changed his life.
The 36-year-old mum from Bristol has two sons – Stanley, 15, who has a heart condition and asthma and Nathan, 12, who has ADHD and autism. Both have been struggling to cope mentally and emotionally over the past few months. Nathan has been too frightened to go outside, even to the garden, while Stanley has had the opposite worry that his family have been isolating only for him.
Hobbs tells HuffPost UK she has tried to remain strong and upbeat in front of her boys – but secretly cries in the shower as “no one can hear you in there.”
However, while she has felt desperately alone, Hobbs sadly isn’t. New research from Action for Children reveals one in three parents feel out of their depth as their children struggle to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity carried out a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 parents, laying bare the devastating impact the crisis has had on millions of families across the UK. Children have felt isolated and lonely, many struggling to sleep or suffering night terrors when they do, and some children are displaying unusually aggressive behaviour during lockdown, parents revealed.
Families also shared their experiences of children bedwetting, becoming debilitatingly clingy, and not wanting to go outside. These behaviours have left parents reeling in turn – with four in 10 feeling more anxious than usual.