Staying at home

Because of the Coronavirus Government advice is for everyone to stay at home as much as they can.

Schools, local authority nurseries, private nurseries, childminders and out of school care are closed unless they are staying open to provide emergency childcare for key workers. Information about who is classed as a key worker can be found on the Scottish Government website and information about arrangements in your local area can be found on your local council’s website.

We all need to stay at home. The only reasons you’re allowed to leave your home are:

  • to shop for food or other basic necessities – but only once a day at the very most
  • to take exercise, but only once a day, either on your own or with other members of your household, not in groups
  • for medical reasons for yourself or other people
  • to travel to work if you’re an essential worker whose work absolutely cannot be done from home

All social events are banned. Any public gathering of more than two people (unless it’s members of the same household or for essential work purposes) is banned.

When it’s not safe to stay at home

For most people, staying at home is difficult, but for some people it is not safe, for example, where there is domestic abuse or housing issues.

For specialist advice on domestic abuse, call the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234 (it also has webchat and email facilities)

For specialist advice on housing, visit Shelter Scotland’s website or call 0808 800 4444 

Keeping a ‘social distance’

Any of us could carry the virus but not have symptoms and end up spreading it wherever we go. So, for now, even if we are well, we’re all being asked to:

  • Stay at home.
  • Keep 2 metres distance from other people when you’re out and about.  

This is very important because: 

  • It protects your own, your family’s and everyone’s health, especially those who could be most affected.
  • It slows down the spread of the virus.
  • It helps the NHS manage.

Keeping well

This is a new way of life (for a while). The usual advice is to get out and about and keep active to keep healthy. So, staying put will be hard. A few simple things you can do to keep yourself and your children as healthy as possible are:

  • Keep to routines.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time as usual.
  • Eat and drink healthily.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family (phone and online).

ParentClub and Parentline have some good advice.

One Parent Families Scotland has produced information about how to keep your children occupied during social distancing.


Doing the best you can is what counts

It’s hard for everyone to be staying at home the whole time whether you’re working from home or not. Some people will be trying to continue their children’s education, others will be doing their best just to get by.

Some parents will be looking for information and resources to help with their child’s education at home; others will be just trying to get by.

Just remember, maintaining the health and well being of your family is essential, everything else is optional.

If you are worrying about your children missing out because they are not at school, you might be tempted to do more than you all can really manage, like trying to make them do school work for so many hours a day. You can help as best you can, but they also need you to give them and yourself a break:

  • Like us, they’ve never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school might sound great to them, like you, they’ll find it hard being stuck at home and not seeing their friends.
  • So, you might see more in the way of meltdowns, tantrums and opposition over the coming weeks. This is natural and to be expected.
  • What your children need right now is to feel comforted and loved, and to know that this time will pass.
  • If you’ve got a garden, play outside. Go out for walks but keep your distance. Make meals together, paint pictures, play board games and watch films. Do science experiments together or find online tours of zoos and museums and other places. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under blankets and do nothing.
  • Everyone’s in the same boat. When they get back to school, the teachers will pick up and start again. Your children won’t lose out in the long run. Do your best to encourage them, but there’s no point in fighting with your children about all this.
  • Do your best with them and try to keep in mind that, after this time has passed, how your children feel will be more important in the long run than what they missed at school.

Screen time

Like it or not, we’ll be using our screens more than usual: for fun; for learning; for working; and for keeping in touch with others. We’ll all be on our screens a lot more but try to keep some sort of limit on this if you can.

And more generally, all curling up to a good film or favourite programme is a great way to have family time and wind down.