As the nation continues to follow isolation and lockdown guidance from the government, it’s important to remember the impact this new way of living may be having on children and young people.

Routine is vitally important for children and young people, so such drastic changes will undoubtedly cause high levels of confusion and uncertainty. These feelings may be amplified by the constant bombardment of ongoing Coronavirus news, which they could be receiving via a number of ways, from the TV and social media platforms through to conversations they’re overhearing or having with you and their friendship groups.  

Children and young people have not yet fully developed the ability to adequately deal with their feelings and emotions, so at this time they may be displaying behaviours outside of their ‘norm’. These behaviours could range from anger and frustration to periods of silence or ignorance and at times defiance when being asked to do something that wouldn’t normally cause a problem. 

It’s important as parents and guardians to keep in mind that these behavioural differences are a normal reaction to this ever-changing situation and to remain as calm as possible in order to show them that you understand, and that you’re there to support them.

It’s inevitable that tensions will rise between families at this time but there are some effective ways to help reduce tension and shift focus back to the positives of spending quality time together as a family.

Llamau’s Family Mediation Worker, Katy Brophy explains

During this time it’s important to take your own time for self-care every day. Whatever that is for you. This can be tricky for anyone but remember you can’t take care of each other if you’re not taking care of yourself.

Try to keep to a routine where possible: wake up, meal and bed times, daily walks and chores, any time for studies or school work if applicable. Don’t forget to factor into your routine the fun things you can do together as well. Think about some of the things you can achieve as a family, get creative and do new things. Bake and cook together, watch new films, play games and exercise together.

When you’re faced with big emotions in yourself or from others, acknowledge and allow these feelings to surface. Ask yourself or others ‘what do you need?’ This allows you to stop and explore rather than try to push away or defend, which can often create more turmoil than it solves.

If the emotions are so big and your buttons are being pressed so they are unmanageable in that moment, walk away, distract and soothe with things that occupy your senses like a hot drink, music, movement, dance, exercise. If you’re able to then go out for your one walk and notice your surroundings, tune into the peace and quiet until the storm passes, which it will.

Llamau recognises that tensions between young people and their families may well increase while everyone is having to spend more time at home, and there may well be families who need some professional support to prevent their relationships from getting worse.

Family breakdown is the number one cause of youth homelessness in the UK, and it’s possible that this period of self-isolation and social distancing could cause an increase in youth homelessness if families aren’t supported to maintain positive relationships at home. Llamau’s Family Mediation service works with families, offering a confidential, impartial and safe space to explore and improve their relationships and is very successful at enabling young people to stay at home and enabling families to rebuild their relationships. The service is still operating at this time and is still delivering family mediation sessions remotely.

If you would like support from Llamau’s Family Mediation service, please visit for details on how to contact our Family Mediation services in your area or contact [email protected]