Confinement: Telephone Help for Parents on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

General News Lifestyle
Telephone assistance for parents under pressure during confinement

It is not easy to combine confinement with telework and children. Several telephone platforms allow parents to empty their bags and regain some serenity.

“I screamed at my daughter, I ran into the shower and there, I cried”: for parents who crack after weeks of family confinement, several hotlines distil listening and assistance.

“This call saved me,” says Julie, who lost her composure one morning with her 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter after her companion left for work.

Despite her house with a garden, the confinement linked to the coronavirus epidemic weighs and stress rises: Julie is the only one in her office to be on standby to look after her children, “with the impression of falling behind and not fucking big thing. ”

Her daughter “no longer takes a nap, and it’s super hard”. A detail sets fire to the powder:

“She wanted to paint, while I hadn’t put away the breakfast, not taken my shower… so I cracked, I screamed. I brought them up to their room and I cried. I needed to unload but how to do it? Call my parents? They would not understand. My colleagues, my friends? They were with their children or at work”

Julie finally dials the number of SOS Parentalité (0974 763 963, non-surcharged) , which has already existed for two years: at the end of the phone, the person “was very sweet, in benevolence … She made me speak, me asked questions to make me think. When I hung up, I felt lighter. ”

The need to empty your bag

With confinement, other initiatives have emerged at national levels, such as the toll-free number “Allô Parents Confinés” of the Parents’ School (0805 382 300), or local, such as the line set up by the city du Cannet (Alpes-Maritimes).

“We have between 20 and 50 calls a day. But it gets bigger and it gets bigger, ”explains the director of the Federation of the Parents’ School, pioneer of support for parenting, Alexandra Christides.

With confinement, listening time “can reach 30 minutes to more than an hour”: the anxieties linked to confinement, to the virus, to school at home, feed many calls, with aggravating factors such as single parenting, cramped housing or insecurity.

“Parents realize that we are not made to live 24 hours a day with children… And vice versa! “, Notes psychologist Nicolas Peraldi , one of the professionals who answers this number.

Parents have no escape, no way to say “I’m going to work, I’ll come back tonight and it will be better”. Some sink into “real distress”

Specializing in non-violent education, Eve Feinblatt is one of the 120 people who pick up the phone from “SOS Parenting, 15 minutes to relieve the pressure”.

“Parents feel exhausted, helpless, their emotional reservoir is empty. They saturate, without being able to land. Not to mention the pressure of “educational continuity” which can make situations explosive”

Laughter and games

On the phone, parents empty their bags, then the listener can explore a few simple and “non-punitive” ways to recharge and reconnect despite the confinement: watching a series, taking a bath or even playing a game together without necessarily finishing homework…

For some, the tensions will ease with a “play-listening”, a quarter of an hour totally dedicated to the child, “master of the game”, who defines the activity and his rule as he wishes.

Founder among others of the Observatory of educational non-violence and of a network that supports parents and professionals, Creative parenting, Catherine Dumonteil-Kremer is the keystone of this volunteer listening line, as well as a group mutual aid gathering 11,000 parents on Facebook.

She is full of ideas to evacuate the overflow, screaming in a cushion or in the passenger compartment of her car … “Laughter and play are also an option that allows you to leave with renewed energy, (…) rather than to repeat “don’t do this, don’t do that” “…

Practical work with karate-socks, ideal for romping in an apartment that is too small: gathered on a bed, the fighters must succeed in catching the socks of their opponent, without losing theirs …

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