Parenting during the lockdown has been a real challenge for millions of us, with families juggling working life with homeschooling.
In the third episode of series two of Alone Together, the podcast looks at different parenting perspectives of children returning to school after the summer holidays.
Alone Together’s Matt Millard is joined by Shelina Begum, journalist and co-founder of workingmamas.com - a platform providing support and advice to working mums - and Lynda Moyo, journalist and founder of the Lemon-Aid newsletter, which has evolved into a community of parents sharing their lived experiences of being housebound during the pandemic.
Listen to the episode in full:
Lemon-Aid surveyed 40,000 parents back in May and findings revealed that 47% of parents felt comfortable sending their children back to school in September and that 16% wouldn’t be happy sending their children back to school unless there was a vaccine made available.
“As the weeks have gone on and as more things reopen, I think the anxiety of the situation lifts slightly,” Lynda adds.
Shelina also drew on her findings from workingmamas.com: “Many of us mums who had early anxieties have actually sent our kids back to school since then because they are working mums. It has been hard to be a mum and be an employee. As lockdown was easing many mums felt more comfortable sending their kids back.”
Lemon-Aid’s survey also showed that only 54% are only a little bit worried about children falling behind academically.
“It’s a relatively short term disruption that will have longer term effects that are both good and bad. But it’s up to us as parents to draw on the positives,” says Lynda.
Alone Together’s Dan McLaughlin also spoke to Samantha Smith, from the EDS Foundation, a charity which campaigns to raise awareness for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare disease which includes 13 individual genetic conditions, all of which affect the body’s connective tissue.
Samatha discusses her experience shielding with her children during the lockdown and the dangers of children returning to school for the vulnerable in our society: "It would be helpful if parents educated their children and themselves on PPE, on how to effectively use masks, and be aware that not everybody's in the same boat.”
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Alone Together is a Laudable production from the newsrooms of the Manchester Evening News, the Edinburgh Evening News and Birmingham Live.