Making 'The Family Bubble' Work for Your Family
Written by Natascha Crandall, PhD. - Educational Curriculum Consultant
Even for those whose health – or the health of loved ones - has not been directly affected by the COVID- 19 pandemic, the lockdown has been exhausting, stressful and often overwhelming. For children, the impact is even greater. While we adults have the emotional coping tools to be able to deal with the day to day unknowns, children, who crave normalcy above all else, have a hard time adjusting to the new normal. They may become moodier, act out more, or become defiant.
Children like their routines and they benefit from them. Right now, life is anything but routine. On any given day, children may not know if they will be going to school or learning remotely and miss some of the things that they used to do for fun. And screen time, which used to be a reward, may feel like a burden as they are forced get used to new ways of learning.
As this strange new world is, you can help your children cope by sticking to daily routines, or by starting new traditions. Planning activities, like family game nights, baking or cooking together, crafting together, or taking daily walks can do wonders for the emotional and physical health of both you and your children as it gives everyone a chance to break away from duties and relax and play together. Regardless of the activities, you can use this time inside your ‘family bubble’ to talk to your children about how and what you are feeling and how it is similar to their feelings and frustrations. This will help relieve stress and will also help you forge deeper emotional connections and bonds with your children.
There is no reason to let these new togetherness habits fade away when the world finally opens up again. You may find that these new traditions, forged during a time of deep stress and crisis, are a gift. It could instigate a habit of openness and honesty that could enhance your relationship and last as your children grow older and become teens. Maybe this will be the silver lining and will be what you remember when you think back on the pandemic years from now.