Tips for parents and educators - helping children stay connected and recover well

We want to thank schools for keeping children and young people safe on Friday 15 March. Now we need to help them stay connected and recover well. They will look to adults for the following.

Adults can provide:

  • Reassurance: they will look to adults for reassurance that they are safe.
  • Support to process and communicate feelings.
  • Guidance about what to do if they’re worried about themselves or someone else.
  • Guidance about online materials, especially hate talk.

Encourage them to talk to adults

It’s good to talk with friends but encourage them to talk with an adult they trust if they’re really worried. Their GP, a counsellor and the counsellors on the 1737 helpline are there to help.

How to support wellbeing

Read the advice and information from the Mental Health Foundation.

Encourage these things:

  • connect with people you love
  • think about ways you can help give to others
  • take time to notice things around you that make you feel good
  • do healthy things that feel good
  • keep learning
  • be active
  • take time to sleep. 

Reinforce your whānau’s or school’s values. State what they are. State that these values support the way we talk about and work with others.

Provide information that is true and accurate and that they can understand

In a media-rich environment, it’s hard for children and young people to know what’s fact, what’s opinion, and how to process things that are being said.

Closely monitor the use of devices

Focus children and young people on messages coming from official sources.

Encourage children and young people to limit their time online, to avoid watching online content that’s unhelpful and to talk with an adult about anything they see that worries them.

See advice from Netsafe

Traumatic incident support in schools

The Ministry has offered traumatic incident support to all schools across the country. Schools can contact the regional Ministry of Education office for this support.

The Rotorua Daily Post published a good example of what some schools outside of Christchurch have done to support their learners.

Rotorua Daily Post article

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