My niece Bean is almost three. Her mum is my sister, regular readers know her as Fat Sister, a name my tics came up with many years ago while she was on a diet. Fat Sister is a doctor at a large London hospital, and she was on call last weekend. This was a planned shift, but she stayed at the hospital throughout the weekend, caring for patients with the COVID-19 virus as well as many others who were unwell with pre-existing conditions or seasonal flu.
This is a global pandemic and Fat Sister and her colleagues are preparing to work extra or longer shifts to take care of those most seriously affected. And we, as a family, are getting ready to support Fat Sister to do whatever is necessary. Part of this is making plans for Bean’s practical care as well as her emotional wellbeing.
Fat Sister was worried that Bean would pick up on her anxieties about the current situation and already felt that she was aware that something was up. To help prepare Bean for an unpredictable few weeks and months I created a Social Story to help explain that mummy is a doctor and that at the moment there are lots of people who are sick and need mummy’s help.
Other children and their parents might find the Social Story helpful, so you can download a version of it here and you can easily adapt it to reflect your family’s circumstances. I’ve included basic illustrations, but you might want to add photos or images that better reflect your situation.
Reading this story with your child or children should help them understand and feel prepared for what’s happening. It might also be good to have a printed copy available to refer to.
These are uncertain times and it’s important to find ways to take care of the physical and emotional wellbeing of our friends, families and neighbours. Whatever the next few weeks hold, it’s a time for us to act with kindness, openness and flexibility.
I’m sending my warmest thanks to everyone who’s working hard to maintain our public services.