Families go stir-crazy

Let’s be honest, it’s not easy living with your family during a pandemic.

After six weeks in lock down you are stressed about your job, your children are playing up and your beloved partner is really getting on your nerves.

Bendigo author and psychologist Ivan Honey has released a new picture book that might come in handy on the home front.

“It can give people some ideas about how they can manage the feelings the pandemic brings,” he said.

Some feelings relate to fear and uncertainty – the book is called Sid Gets Scared – but there are many emotions that swirl around during times of crisis, Mr Honey said.

Talking about them might bring everyone in your family closer together, he said.

What have you to loose?

Ivan Honey

“When this pandemic is over those relationships with our loved ones are either going to be better or worse,” Mr Honey said.

Mr Honey is hearing from many parents who are struggling as the pandemic grinds on.

“They are average families in Bendigo who all of a sudden find themselves in a situation where they cannot leave and where they are being asked to do things they have never been expected to do before, like teaching children who are learning from home,” he said.

“They might be doing all of that while dealing with the loss of a job or an income.

“To me, the way we adapt to that is to come back to some very basic priciples of wellbeing, happiness and the psychological understanding of skills we need to manage that.”

Sid Gets Scared is part of a free online collection that ncludes games and activities to relieve some of the pandemic’s preassure.

“These games and activities are really about using principles of cooperation and minimising conflict,” Mr Honey said.

“Some schools I work with have actually sent them out to parents to get them to focus on the positive, practical and uplifting messages they can teach their children right now.

“They are fun activities too. We learn best when we are having fun.”

The activities have been honed through The Get Happier Project, an international prgram spreading wellbeing with the help of schools.

Sid Gets Scared, written by Ivan Honey and illustrated by Jacqui Lynch, is available for free at gethappier.net along with other resources to make life happier.