Governments around the world imposed a lockdown on households to control the spread of COVID-19. While this seems to be an effective strategy to protect one’s health, the major question is, did the lockdown improve family relationships?
If you ask yourself now, it has been a great bonding moment but, at the same time, a struggle when handling conflicts. It is important to avoid arguments at home, strengthen family relationships, and build a better future.
The Challenges During this Lockdown
Due to the travel restrictions and limited establishments that remain open, there are not many places to visit and unwind. Children are getting restless due to the limited playing spaces. Adults want to travel and are unable to connect with friends socially. Exercising outdoors is not like before, and staying indoors for long periods causes mental and emotional stress.
Staying at home for extended periods may sound cozy and comfortable, but it may cause burnout. Just imagine parents of toddlers who work from home without help. It’s quite a challenge.
With the many problems, there are also solutions to cope with family difficulties. There are tips for burnout prevention, and ways to improve family relationships. This is the new normal that families, especially parents, need to adapt to.
5 Tips to Improve Family Relationships
During these times, the only goal is to have harmonious family relationships. Here are five tips to remember to make the best out of this lockdown.
Be More Patient and Understanding
This is the best time for each family member to be extra patient and understanding. We should be aware of our actions and how they can affect the people around us. Be mindful and avoid the things that make you mad; in this way, there will be fewer arguments or conflict.
If you experience a disagreement with a family member, you need to extend your patience. This is not easy, but your patience can go a long way. Take a timeout, take a deep breath, and relax if you need to. This is especially helpful for families with kids having temper tantrums or feeling restless.
To key to avoiding and solving conflicts is open communication. The words that come out of our mouth can leave a permanent sting and strain in family relationships. Explain what you feel rather than keeping quiet and keeping the emotions bottled up. Also, make sure to be a good listener, and have an open mind. The best way to solve conflict is to talk through it calmly.
Positive family communication includes telling the truth, respecting each other’s point of view, and taking time to understand how other people feel. You also need to think before you speak and try to validate other people’s feelings.
Think of Fun Activities
For the family to stay connected and get excited about something, think of fun activities, the whole family can look forward to. Due to the lockdown and outdoor activities being limited, you can still think of many ways to have fun indoors.
You can have movie nights and get the children to pick what to watch and avoid using mobile phones during family time. It’s also fun to have themed dinners and let everybody help with the food preparations. You can have Korean, Mexican, Japanese food, or barbecue night. And the food preparation is a great bonding moment.
Gardening, home improvement projects, or room renovations are productive ways to spend your time during the lockdown. It would take time off with the kids playing with their gadgets the whole day and at the same time, it’s a great way to learn new skills.
A Great Time to Learn
Since you are isolated at home, it’s the perfect time to learn a new skill or a household chore. If you have teenagers that do not like doing household chores or have no idea how to do them, then now is an excellent time for you to teach them.
They usually have excuses for schoolwork or not being around at home so much. But now is the perfect time to teach them household chores or whatever it is you’ve been longing to teach them.
This is also an excellent time for the family to learn a new skill or hobby. You can teach your kids how to draw, make decorations, bake cookies, or whatever you can think of. As for the adults, it’s time to learn a new hobby like painting or cooking. The lockdown teaches us to slow down with our lives and learn to appreciate living a simple life with our family.
Now that work and study from home are the new normal, we can avoid family conflicts by creating boundaries between family members. This means giving and respecting the other person’s space while work and class are ongoing.
This is one of the major challenges during the lockdown, especially for work from home parents. If possible, set a’ quiet time’ or impose strict privacy during work hours. The same applies to your kids who have online classes. You know how children are, and if they’re together in the same room for a long period, it doesn’t end well.
We all Face Different Struggles
This lockdown has both improved and placed a challenge for families during social isolation. For those who live alone, they experience different trials, and it’s more challenging.
It takes a lot more patience and understanding to get through these challenging times for households who have ill family members or have children with special needs.
The best thing we can do is to see the silver lining with this lockdown and spend our time wisely. Use this time to mend and improve family relationships, learn a new hobby, read a book, and spend time with your children.
This lockdown is the perfect time to find joy in life’s simplicity. This is the time to appreciate the love we have for our family. We all face different struggles, but this is the perfect time to improve family relationships.