Diary of a frustrated footballer: Reassuring kids they’ll be fine and maths homework is new routine – The Sun

SCHOOL’S out ’til summer and with many footballers having young kids, it is going to have a big effect on lots of us.

Barring youngsters like David Brooks and Aaron Ramsdale, we have loads of parents in the Bournemouth squad.

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So getting our heads around childcare and home-schooling is one of the major challenges we face during this coronavirus crisis.

My wife Ashley and I are lucky our two children are at ages where they can entertain themselves for long periods.

But for the many in our team with toddlers and babies, they are not so fortunate.

My daughter Halle is nine and follows the news, so is well aware that schools are closing indefinitely tonight.

Halle was excited by the prospect of home-schooling until we explained she would still have to do all the lessons she does not enjoy, with maths her least favourite.

She has written a daily planner which included a lot of English, artwork and PE but, funnily enough, maths did not make it on to the list!

PE is obviously in my field but additions and subtractions may be trickier.

The man in our squad I would back most during the education lockdown is Andrew Surman, who has two sons of a similar age to Halle and a daughter, too, so is well experienced with childcare.

Many parents will have the problem of their kids following the news and being alarmed by what they read.

Halle has asked the obvious questions like “Am I going to get it?” and has got panicky.

You just have to reassure them. That’s my job as a parent, to tell her everything is going to be OK.

My son Jude’s main concern is when the football is going to return.


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He is only five so has no idea what is going on — which is nice, to be honest.

Jude is as obsessive about the game as his old man and has resorted to watching the Bournemouth games I have saved on my Sky Planner to get his fix!

I will also get him into the garden every day to do a little bit of training with me.

On the subject of family, we were due to go up to Nottingham — where I am from — to see my parents this weekend. My nephew’s birthday is tomorrow and obviously it is Mother’s Day on Sunday.

But we have made the decision not to, what with being due back in training on Monday and my folks being in their late-sixties.

My mum is gutted but understands the situation. Her feelings sum up what many of us will be experiencing at this time and the word in the title to this diary: Frustrated.

Yet, as we all know, there are far greater things at stake.

And that means Halle’s maths lessons will continue, much to her disappointment.

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