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Family Life During Lock Down

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Our VOICES West service works directly with children/young people where parental substance misuse is an issue. The service also provides support to families and this article gives an insight into family life for those we have been working with during lock down - the challenges, the opportunities and the ability to focus on what is important in the here and now.

Staff Member

One mother told me that they would have been lost without the good weather, it gave them a chance to clean up the back yard and paint the fence. The normal wet Irish Summer would have had her “climbing the walls” and she was sure her wains would be killing one another. Whatever hour of schoolwork they got done in the morning that was it, she did not push them. Her older son was happy to work on, but she and her two girls, 12yrs and 9yrs usually had sandwiches outside for lunch and then just feutered about until evening. She still worried about her ex-partner’s drinking but at least he could not go out to the pub, and “make a show of himself”

The older daughter told me in one of our telephone sessions that she “loved” lockdown, because Mammy could not “make” her go and see her dad. Sometimes, before Covid-19, he drank even when they stayed over and asked her not to tell mum. She hated this. All of which we are continuing to explore in our therapy sessions.

Parent

“I have found it challenging during lockdown at times but all in all it has been very good for our family. We have used the time to reconnect and do things together that we haven’t done in years. Our daily exercise and playing games as a family have been the most enjoyable things that has reconnected us. We have had a few challenges with regards to school work and logging into the online systems which has prevented work being submitted regularly for the school. Also having my wee boy’s confirmation cancelled has been tough on him. He is moving to a new school next year and none of his primary school friends will be there which has made it that bit harder on him.”
“It has been great having regular contact with William and I have used him as a sounding board for any doubts I might be having, especially with regards the difficulties in getting schoolwork done. It has allowed me time to focus on the positive things we are doing as a family and remember that school work will be caught up on. Another worry at the beginning was getting the kids to understand that they can’t just go out and play with their friends as normal or that they can’t go to see aunts and cousins. It has been an extremely difficult time for everyone but with the support of William I feel that we are managing well as a family and will come out of lockdown in a stronger more positive position as a family.”


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