How do I get through this exhausting Corona time well with my children?

Current rules and a few suggestions for the child-friendly use of the Corona Rules

The Corona rules demand a lot from all of us, both parents and children. Studies report very different effects on children. For example, a recent study by the German Youth Institute comes to the conclusion that two thirds of children cope quite well with the current situation, but one third less well or badly. Other studies report directly about strong psychological stress for a part of the children.

How do I get through this exhausting Corona time well with my children?

Schools open and closed - and extended school holidays

Kitas and schools are still open in all countries, but next Monday this will change in the first federal states. In Saxony, schools will close again on Monday, other states might follow soon (here you can find the current regulations) (here you will find the current regulations). From 21 December onwards, Christmas holidays will be almost nationwide (exception: in Baden-Württemberg the holidays will not start until 23 December as of 10.12.2020). It is possible that the school holidays will be extended until 10 January.

We have some ideas for the time over Christmas and New Year for you in the coming week - even if we think that you and you yourself have enough ideas for it.

Seeing separation children is allowed

If you are separated from your child, you may meet with your child. It's explicitly allowed.

Meeting friends in a small circle

Actually up to 5 people from two households are allowed to meet. However, one sentence further says that this regulation does not apply to children under 14 years (in Berlin: under 12 years). In other words: Children are allowed to meet their friends! It doesn't have to be four or five, but parents should make sure that especially younger children meet their friends. And the older ones should also have the opportunity to meet their friends outside school. We suggest that it should be a smaller circle of a few steady friends. But please also think of those friends who may not be as popular as others.

Perhaps you adults are reducing your contacts in favor of your children.

Please check which current regulations apply in your federal state (here) or municipality or city. The city or district administration can also provide you with information.

Outside, the aerosols dilute and are less dangerous

Basically, adults and children should meet in a small circle, preferably outside - and not in the four walls. And if it has to be indoors, the windows should be opened regularly. As the saying goes: there is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad (or unsuitable) clothing.

In addition, the risk of infection is lower outside than in a room, as the aerosols evaporate. Nevertheless, the AHA+AL rules (distance, hygiene measures, everyday masks, CoronaWarnApp, ventilation) should also be observed here.

Sport and exercise as "necessary errands

Even though it means that you may only leave the apartment for absolutely necessary errands, sports and exercise, such as daily walks or romping around, are part of it. This was already allowed in the first "lockdown" in spring - and I don't see why it shouldn't apply now. Especially when the gyms are closed and not everyone has a gym at home, sports and exercise must be allowed outside. But please pay attention to the AHA+AL rules (distance, hygiene measures, everyday masks, CoronaWarnApp, ventilation).

Accept the situation and make the best of it = resilience

Of course, the whole Corona pandemic and its consequences are no walk in the park. On the contrary, we would all much rather live our normal lives, see our friends and pursue our hobbies without restrictions. But normal life also means that things do not always work out the way we would like them to: the partner separates, the employment contract is terminated, the holiday is cancelled, etc.

As right and important as it is to mourn and be disappointed about it, it is just as important to come to terms with this situation and make the best of it. When we find a way out of a crisis that suits us, we emerge from it stronger: we are ready for the next relationship, a new job or even learn a new profession, have a good time at home.

We parents are role models for our children and if we are as relaxed as possible in dealing with this challenging situation, then our children learn to accept this situation and to deal with it in the same relaxed way. In this way children learn one of the most important qualities for their whole life: Resilience or resilience. (You can find a contribution on the topic of resilience here)

Communicate the regulations clearly, but without emphasising your own fears

Children can deal with clear rules, this also applies to the corona rules. It is therefore appropriate to inform children about the applicable rules and to encourage them to comply with them. However, in order to enable children to deal with the applicable rules in as relaxed a manner as possible, compliance with the rules should not be associated with the adults' own fears and concerns. Of course, it is okay to tell the child that you have worries because the restaurant is no longer allowed to open, an order is missing or short-time work is threatening. But the child should not get the feeling that he or she has to follow the rules because the dad or mum can get sick and then can no longer work and earn money or the business might go bankrupt.

The fears and worries associated with such a scenario should be discussed with the partner or other adults, even if they concern possible misbehaviour by the child and the consequences.


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