by Hannah Baker, School Psychologist
We’ve all had to modify or cancel routines, plans, special events and potentially even key family traditions due to the current isolation restrictions. As the Easter holidays approach, this is yet another challenge that our families are facing – how do we all coexist under the same roof without the structured routines of school or other distractions to get us through, and stop life turning into ‘Lord of the Flies.’
This is a problem that I’m facing with my own family as well, so I decided to have a go at using POOCH to find a solution to my worries (‘Practice what you preach’). Here is just an example of how POOCH thinking looks for me and my family – your family might have particular goals (especially if adults are still attempting to work), have other resources at your disposal, or have different circumstances which will mean that options and outcomes are different for you. See the questions in bold at each stage, to help you work through the POOCH process for your situation – blank versions of the template and a more detailed list of questions are available on the “From the Counsellor” C-Hub Page if you need more prompts.
Some quick tips for thinking through the options:
- Consider what has worked well for you in the past.
- What have you heard works for other families?
- Are there people you could ask for suggestions? Sometimes the internet is helpful here…other times not.
- Acknowledge the “bad” and “default” options as well, the key is to do the “options” stage without judgement. If I had filtered out “ignore everyone” I would have missed acknowledging that sometimes you do just need to relax – it is a holiday after all!
Remember – if you or your children are not coping well, you can always ask for help. Start with Lifeline – 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800, or give the NSW Mental Health Line a call – 1800 011 511.
I’ll be praying for you all, as you work through these challenging circumstances.