Tips for Getting Along as a Family During Lockdown
Maintaining peace and harmony during lockdown is no simple task. This is especially so when the entire family has to share the same space for an unforeseen amount of time. These uncertainties, emotional ups and downs, household rules, and new protective guidelines that we all must adjust to don’t make this process any easier. Getting along as a family is more important than ever, but it’s easier said than done right now.
During the lockdown period, we need to value and cherish our families. Family is more than the genes that connect us or the number of people in a household. Some studies define family as follows:
The union of individuals that share a lifetime project of shared existence, in which they establish strong feelings of belonging, and intense and intimate relationships, reciprocity and dependence, establishing a personal commitment among members.
But the panorama changes when these members must remain in confinement for the common good. Even when it’s for their own safety, the current circumstances can lead to misunderstandings and tension.
The new way of working and learning, now from home, along with noise from the television and children playing and from the kitchen, among other things… All of these factors are a major test of resistance for each member of every household. What can we do to promote getting along as a family while in quarantine?
Getting along as a family during lockdown: How can we do it?
Until recently, our lives were, for the most part, fast-paced. But our current situation has shaken the ground beneath our feet, imposing changes that have a major impact on our family life.
Within a shared space and time, we must organize a time for schoolwork, listening to our kids, sharing with and offering affection to older family members in our home, calming fears, and doing our best to overcome our circumstances.
What options do we have then when it comes to making it through this time period without it having a negative impact on our families? In the following paragraphs, we’ll share some interesting tips for getting along as a family during lockdown.
1. Stick to a schedule
Sticking to your regular schedule even while staying at home can help you to be sure that everyone in your family is getting the rest they need.
It’s important to maintain the same schedule you did before confinement. By this, we mean going to the bed at the same time as usual, waking up on time, etc. This will keep you from messing up your sleeping patterns. Getting a good night’s rest will help everyone in your family to be in a better mood each day.
2. Establish routines
Having defined routines will be a determining factor in getting along as a family. It’s essential that you establish times for playing, for your children’s schoolwork, and for you and your partner to work, if necessary. With the support of everyone in your family, you can make this possible.
3. Calm fears
The news right now is full of tragedy… the spread of coronavirus, countless deaths… and these issues are especially hard for children to understand. It’s important that we listen to our children and give a name to their feelings they’re experiencing. You can even encourage your little ones to make drawings and paintings to help manage their emotions. Older children and adults may want to do a journal.
This moment in time is hard on kids since they can’t go out and see their friends, play with other children, go to school, etc. As much as possible, we need to stay calm as this is a way to support the rest of our family. One way to do this is by going to the right sources to find the latest information. Stick to trustworthy sites, like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
4. Strengthening bonds
Quarantine is the perfect opportunity for us to strengthen our bonds as a family. Therefore, setting our phones, laptops and other screens aside is well worth it. Replace them with board games, card games, and other activities you can share as a family.
5. Handle your differences
Annoyances and disagreements make getting along as a family difficult during lockdown. Therefore, it’s important to identify what’s causing tension and handle it in the right way. The more you manage to keep your differences under control, the easier it will be for everyone.
6. Avoid sources of anxiety
Reducing anxiety at this moment in time is essential, especially when it comes to accessing daily news updates. You can take some time each day to look at the news and then move on to another activity. As we mentioned above, stick to news sources you know you can trust and limit your time on social media. Staying calm is a vital part of getting along as a family.
7. Maintain assertive communication
Assertive communication is essential when it comes to overcoming the fear that exists around our current situations. We need to allow everyone in the family to express and formulate their doubts and questions. This is a right that belongs to family members of every age, so don’t forget to include children and the elderly.
8. Learn to listen
Everyone in your household should have a voice and be able to express their feelings and opinions. If someone expresses fear, anger, or frustration, don’t make them feel bad about it. We need to learn to listen lovingly to one another. This situation is hard on everyone.
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9. Respect one another’s space
If someone in your family needs some time alone, let them have it. You don’t have to spend every moment of every day doing things together. Some people prefer to put their skills to the test in solitude and we need to be respectful of that.
The circumstances we’re facing aren’t normal, typical, or usual… we’re all new to this. Therefore, the best we can do while we’re at home is to maintain a positive attitude. Let’s keep our eyes on the future with the certainty that these difficult times will soon be over.