Okay, we’re not going to lie- the last several weeks have not been good. Many in our nation have been furloughed, laid off, or are just temporarily working from home as a result of the Coronavirus. Regardless of how this pandemic planted you at home base, you’re bound to be spending more time with the fam.
Now, this could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. American culture highly values work ethic and productivity, a belief system that isn’t always well aligned with a strong family life. So, if you were one of the millions of Americans pulling in long hours at the office, you certainly weren’t alone.
At first breath, it’s been a difficult adjustment for some. We’re not used to adapting our lifestyle and catering to others. So, if full-time parenting, handing over the TV remote, or sharing the kitchen table as a work space with your partner has you pulling out your hair, know that it’s not just you.
However, this situation doesn’t have to break you or your family. Have you been wanting to spend more time bonding with the kids? How about getting reconnected with your partner? You may never get a better opportunity than the present to do so!
So, without further ado, we would like to offer a few tips to help you strengthen your relationship with your family during your new found bonding time.
Create Family Routines & Rituals
What better time than the present to start new habits that bring your family closer together? Why not turn off the TV and start a new family meal ritual? Or, maybe you could experiment with a family board game or movie night? In a time where there are potentially very little distractions outside the home, it’s as good of a time as any to kick start your new family traditions!
Routines create a sense of safety and give us a foundation to thrive. Children raised with regular routines and rituals are more likely to excel at home and in school. And, adults with regular routines are more likely to report positive mental health.
Make Space for Those You Love
It’s hard to slow down to take the time to appreciate those you care about in the normal hustle and bustle of daily life. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. The things you do today will be the moments that are forever remembered.
Do you remember those times your mom read you a bedtime story? Or, how about those times you watched a movie or gardened with your dad? What about the first time you met your partner? These are the memories we keep with us for a lifetime. Don’t rob yourself or your family of those moments. Now is the time to write history with those you love!
Throw Out Patterns That No Longer Serve You
In life, we spend an exuberant amount of time forming attachments to our insecurities, negative feelings, and physical things. Many of those attachments are unhealthy and anchor us in misery. Let me tell you right now- let it go!
Are you feeling guilty because you lost your temper with your child? Or, maybe you’re feeling anger or resentment towards your partner for their past actions or decisions? Perhaps you’ve placed too much value on your career or monetary belongings at the expense of those you love?
Ruminating over the past will only serve to make you unhappy and will act as a barrier to strengthening, or even rebuilding family relationships. Let go of the internal negative schema and let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak. Now is the first day of the rest of your life, treat it as such in your interactions with those who matter most.
Watch Your Words!
Sometimes we simply don’t realize the massive power of our words. We all get frustrated sometimes. Maybe you were in a bad mood and that unmade bed, courtesy of your child, broke the camel’s back? Or, maybe one day you were feeling particularly resentful towards the uneven distribution of household chores among you and your partner?
And just like that…it happened, you said something you would quickly regret.
The truth is, once something is said, you can’t take it back. It’s doubtful that your child or partner’s action, or inaction, was meant to be malicious. So, why not take a second to calm down, remove yourself from the situation, and take a deep breath before responding? Hurt feelings don’t solve any problems and only undermine healthy family relationships.
Enjoy this story? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more content to guide you on your path to a happy, healthy life! And, don’t forget to follow us at youthdynamicsmt on Instagram and Youth Dynamics of Montana and People of Youth Dynamics on Facebook.