A negative family situation at home can be stressful for everyone, including any children who live in the household.
Right now that’s exacerbated by the lockdown rules – officially known as ‘social distancing’ – which require you to stay home, avoid unnecessary journeys and stay away from other people.
This includes family members who don’t live in your household, and has meant many children currently don’t have access to extended caregivers like grandparents, aunts and uncles.
If you’re trying to cope with a negative family situation, please know you are not alone. A huge number of households are coming to terms with lockdown too, and support is available from Marcia Mediation and other organisations throughout this time.
Here are some simple ways to try and ease the strain for your children – and yourself – of a negative family situation during lockdown.
Make the best use you can of the social distancing rules. They allow for daily exercise with members of your household, but you don’t have to take that exercise together.
Take it in turns to take the kids out for their exercise. Try to change the routes you take, so the kids have a change of scenery – this will be good for you too.
By doing this, you also give yourself the chance to take your exercise alone sometimes, to give yourself a break from the stress of your situation at home.
Similarly, if you’ve had an especially stressful day and you’re running low on food, you might want to choose that evening to go buy some essentials – just make sure you’re not making unnecessary journeys using food as an excuse.
Home schooling is a lot to get your head around – especially if you, your partner or both are working from home too – but it’s a good way to keep the kids in a regular routine.
If possible, take turns with your partner so you share your newfound teaching responsibilities. This way you can also focus on subjects you’re each better at and share those that you hate.
You might want to take sole responsibility for home schooling if your partner is working full-time from home. In any case, some familiarity and routine can help keep children feeling less bored and take their mind off any worries they might have.
Make sure your children know that things will get better. The UK government has been reluctant to put any future plans or time limits in place, but you can still talk about what your family will do once lockdown ends.
You might find your kids are missing a particular friend or family member and you hadn’t realised – if so, try to arrange a phone call, video call or take your daily exercise past that person’s house for a socially distant wave and a quick chat from the end of the driveway.
If you’re also planning how to improve your personal situation, and that of your children, once you’re able to move out of your current home, you can contact Marcia Mediation on 01614253940 or [email protected] for any enquiries.
We will of course handle your enquiry with total confidence and we provide remote mediation services via Zoom and Skype, so if you want a session during lockdown, we can do that too.