Physical distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19): what it means for your family

This article was developed by Raising Children Network in collaboration with Meredith Rayner, psychologist.

Physical distancing or self-isolation?

The rules about physical distancing and self-isolation are changing all the time. For the most up-to-date information, you can check Healthdirect’s physical distancing guidelines and self-isolation guidelines.

This article is for families who are well and are physical distancing. If a member of your family is self-isolating because of a coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis, you might be able to adapt some of the tips in this article to help you through this situation.

Physical distancing means more time at home with your family. And if you’re working, it might mean that you’re balancing supervision of children’s learning, family time, and work commitments.

This is a challenging experience. It can also be a positive experience if you can:

  • make the most of family time
  • use routines to support family health and wellbeing
  • stay connected with others in creative ways
  • manage family conflict in positive ways.Here are some fun ways you can spend time together and build your relationships:
    • Encourage your child to draw a picture for someone, then take a photo and send it to family or friends.
    • Play family games together – you could try board games, 20 questions or charades.
    • Have a picnic in the garden or living room.
    • Start a chapter book, and read one chapter each day. Or tell a story together – you can take turns to add the next instalment.
    • Turn on some music and have an indoor singing, lip sync or dance party.
    • Follow along to some YouTube exercise videos.
    • Make and edit a short video together.
    • Take a virtual tour of a gallery or historic place together.
    • Go for a walk or bike ride together if you can keep a responsible distance from other people