As we all embrace the new normal with each passing day and look back to where it all began, a strong underlying force that helped us traverse this gloomy time was family. The coronavirus reminded us of the importance of healthcare and family, and helped us rethink our priorities. Most of us hoped to stay united with our families or spend quality time with our loved ones, post the lockdown too.
We are no longer dealing with longer commute timings and long hours spent at workplaces, which gives us more time to spend with our children and our parents. Someday when life is once again full of sports, meetings, events and commitments from school and work, we all hope that something pulls us to recollect what is most important: family! Spending time with grandparents and parents, indulging in board games and anecdotes from childhood has to be hands down, the best activity pursued during the lockdown.
For families with children, this became an opportunity to spend more quality time with the child, indulge in fun games and ingenious ways to celebrate each day. As the world crippled, our family remains the essential source of love and support by making us feel safe, positive and healthy. As a famous Chinese proverb correctly puts our feeling of gratitude to work, “Misfortune may be a blessing in disguise.”
Maintaining a harmonious and loved family ambience is paramount for the welfare of each family member to feel emotionally safe, especially during grueling times. Long periods of stress inevitably leads to anxiety, arguments and emotional concerns. It is imperative for each member to support the other members, especially the children, elderly and those suffering from chronic ailments. Consistent communication is a natural stress buster and immediately lightens up the mood for everyone.
An important challenge in the way of consistent communication lies in communication with the kids. While it is much easier for adults to understand the concept of a pandemic, it is as difficult to explain the same to their children. Most children would have heard about the pandemic and would rely on their parents and care-takers to help them understand the situation better. Parents can help the younger ones understand the situation with the help of games, storytelling, role-plays or other artistic ways. Through an innovative approach to best suit their kids, parents can help establish a positive attitude and confidence in children to overcome not just the current adversities but also, the future ones.
Parent-child games can prove to be a fruitful exercise to strengthen the bond, relieve stress and also build resilience in children. Parents could actively participate in all the children games and exercises including board games, outdoor games, sports, storytelling, art and role plays. Especially during such challenging times when children cannot step out to play with their mates or celebrate their birthdays or enjoy educational sessions at school, they need their parents’ attention more than ever.
Not just children, this was indeed a golden opportunity for every member of the family to help mothers share the household chores, in turn increasing everyone’s participation in maintenance of the house as well as participation in decisions regarding the house. Everyone could plan their daily routines with their own personal activities and manage their time judiciously at home. It is an opportunity for younger members of the household to learn time management and enhance their planning skills.
Looking back to when this started, it definitely wasn’t easy. Living with family members in a confined space for long periods of time and being exploded with staggering figures of fatality and infections every day was ominous. There was increased anxiety and depression leading to physical changes like chest congestion and insomnia, worry and panic leading to an unhealthy lifestyle and binge eating. But like everything else, we conquered it all, and will continue to do it each single day!