The pandemic has created new lifestyles. It has an enormous impact on home life. Many adults now work from home. Many students are taking online classes. This means that everyone is at home most of the time. If you have dogs, they will be underfoot.
The forecast is that more people will be working from home in the next few years. It is still unclear if and when schools will open completely. Students may continue to have classes online. The home situation will most likely stay the same for some time.
It can be challenging to adjust to this new family experience. It can cause problems among family members because stress levels are high. Being confined for extended periods creates tension. Everyone tends to become irritable. Families must learn how to manage and cope with this new normal.
Structure: Schedule and Flexibility
Couples need to discuss how they want to handle the situation. This will depend on their circumstances, such as whether they have flexible work hours or not. Time management will be necessary.
People who work from home sometimes find it difficult to leave work. You must draw a clear line after work hours. ;
Divide responsibilities and chores based on the available time of each spouse daily. This includes helping the children with their studies.
If the children are old enough, assign age-appropriate chores to them. They must understand that they also have responsibilities as part of the household. Children must take ownership of their role in the family.
Parents can model enthusiasm in doing any task and pride in doing it well. These are valuable life lessons.
The family can draw up a schedule for things to do daily and weekly. Label the assignments.
Having a structure with room for flexibility helps children and teenagers cope during times of uncertainty. Seeing their parents as team leaders gives them confidence in facing the crisis.
Having a regular schedule, from waking up in the morning to bedtime, reassures children now that so many parts of their lives are changing.
Do Not Neglect Your Dog
If you have a dog, it will be happy to have everyone home almost all the time. The problem is that it can be too pleased about the situation. New behavioral issues can appear. The dog can be disruptive to working adults and children who are studying.
Allot time for the family to play with your dog. If regulations in your locality allow it, continue to walk your dog daily. This works out excess energy and soothes your dog.
If behavioral problems persist, do not punish your dog. Do not bring a dog trainer into your home for training sessions. It is not yet safe to do so. Consider instead dog boarding and training. Find a live-in facility that can address your specific concerns.
Observe all health and safety protocols when you bring your dog to the facility and when you pick it up.
Wear a mask and handle your dog with gloves when picking it up from the facility. Dog fur can harbor the coronavirus. Upon returning home, immediately bathe your dog while you are still wearing a mask. Then take a bath afterward.
After your pet returns from dog camp, it will be able to obey your rules. Your dog will be calmer and will blend in more easily with the new conditions at home.
Take a Break
The family must not spend all the time working, studying, and doing chores. It is equally important to have family leisure and bonding time. Playtime must include your dog.
Plan indoor physical activities that are fun. With less time spent outside, there is a danger of becoming sedentary. Children and adults alike need regular exercise.
If you have more than one child, experts suggest having one-on-one time with each child for about 10 to 20 minutes every few days. This makes the child feel loved and builds self-esteem.
It is normal for children to express worries about the pandemic. Always reassure them that you and the authorities are taking all steps necessary to keep everyone safe. Answer all their questions in an age-appropriate manner. Keeping connected with other family members virtually also comforts children and eases their fears.
You must also find time to be together as a couple. This can be a few minutes of quiet time after the children are in bed. Give each other some “me-time” as well. Use this to work on a hobby, do some self-pampering, or listen to music on headphones.
The key to managing the new home life in the pandemic is teamwork. As partners in leading the family, a couple must take good care of each other and themselves. Only then can they be in the best state of mind and body to take good care of their children.
Parents must be responsible and caring leaders who instill in their children the values of collaboration, dependability, and adaptability.
Family life is not easy in the pandemic. But your family can work together to continue running a happy and comfortable home under Covid-19 conditions.