Under One Roof: Managing Family Dynamics During COVID-19
As many of us are now all at home, you may notice that your family dynamic has been magnified. This can be both positive and negative, but either way, it can be highly stressful. Whether you have small children or perhaps your college student is now back at home from college for the rest of the semester, this can be an adjustment and a challenge. Personalities can begin to clash, and emotions heighten, as everyone adjusts to being under one roof. It is important to create a temporary new normal for your family and establish healthy boundaries for your household.
Create Space – We may be limited with our physical space right now, but you can still create spaces for you and your family. Have a designated area for your kids to do schoolwork that is separate from where they play. Your kids would not necessarily play or be on their phones in their classroom at school, so setting up a similar designated spot at home could be very beneficial. Create a space for yourself. Apply the same concept for your kids towards yourself. Have a spot in your home that is only for getting work done and a place where you can unwind.
Be Intentional with Quality Time – When everyone is under one roof, there will undoubtedly be a lot of time spent together. Be intentional with how you are spending quality time. Schedule a time during the day and create an activity for everyone to do together. This could be something like a themed dinner, a movie watched together, or board games.
Have a Designated ‘Alone’ Time – As you are intentional with family time, also be intentional with your alone time. Have a time where you go to your designated spot in your home to decompress and unwind. Try not to spend all this time on your phone. You could read a book, draw, watch something by yourself, take a nap, etc. Do something that would bring you joy and help you relax.
Establish Set Responsibilities – This is helpful in bringing some normalcy back into your home. It is likely that your family has an established set of chores in the house. Now with everyone at home, create a concrete schedule of household responsibilities. If your children made their lunch before they went to school, have them stick that same routine. Have everyone make their beds in the morning, take the dog for a walk, help with dinner, etc.
Stick to a Schedule – This is similar to setting responsibilities for each family member. Create a daily schedule for your home. Establish a set time to do schoolwork, for you to get work done, a period for free time, family time, etc.
This is a difficult time for many families, along with the stress and concern from what is going in our world, there is a lot of adjustment to be made at home. Although our new situations are temporary, it is important to establish normalcy, balance, and boundaries in our homes.