Christine McGuinness' lockdown parenting 'struggles'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 7 April 2021
Christine McGuinness

Christine McGuinness

Christine McGuinness admits parenting in lockdown was "really difficult" because her autistic children didn't have the same school support they have been used to

Christine McGuinness has admitted parenting in lockdown was "really difficult".

The 33-year-old model's kids, seven-year-old twins Penelope and Leo, and Felicity, four – who she shares with her husband Paddy McGuinness – are autistic, and the star admits it has been an "uphill struggle" during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: "Lockdown was really difficult at first. It’s been an uphill struggle. The children were getting a lot of support at school but that all stopped. Suddenly we had to become therapists for them and it wasn’t going too well."

Christine admitted meal times were one tough aspect as at the beginning of lockdown, the couple felt they "couldn’t get any food in them at all".

She added: "We have spent so many years trying to get the children to eat foods all the other children were eating. They just prefer quite dry food, beige food. It’ll be chips, chicken nuggets, fish fingers and one of my daughters will have pizza.

"The more I learned about autism the more I understood that this was a sensory thing, part of a medical children and not fussy or spoiled children. At the start of lockdown we felt we couldn’t get any food in them at all. Gradually, we tried to introduce new food as much as we could ... Trying new foods is always a big deal for the kids. So when they do, we sit back, say nothing and watch them, nudging each other and thinking, ‘Oh my god they’ve eaten!' "

And Christine couldn't believe how proud she was of her children, who played in the snow for the first time.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, she said: "Seeing the children do anything new makes us feel like we’ve won the lottery and want to do cartwheels. They played in snow for the first time. They were always scared of the snow. But this year we got out there and eventually they were rolling around in it. I tried not to make too much of a fuss because I knew if I did they might stop. I watched the video back and thought, ‘Wow this is amazing.' "

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