During this lockdown family relationship have been affected in myriad ways, both negative and positive. Suddenly we have to adjust to a whole new reality. There is a lot more time being spent at home and it is an opportunity to bond and gel and catchup with family members. However, everyone in the family has their own perspective on how lockdown has affected them and others in the family. Everyone in the family also has their own expectation on how the family as a whole and individual family members should spend the lockdown. This difference in expectations and opinions is often leading to arguments, fights and distress within the family. Also, due to lockdown no one can move out of the distressing situation and distance or distract themselves from the situation. Everyone is getting forced to deal with the difficult situations at home and cannot sweep them under the carpet. Some of us can speak up and express our thoughts and opinions but some of us cannot for reasons ranging from avoiding creating conflicts to not having the freedom to speak at all. This is giving rise to anger, hostility and irritability within families. Here are few suggestions on how you can work together to maintain harmony:
Bridge the gap
This opportunity lockdown is an opportunity to talk and discuss previous unresolved issues and to bridge all the gaps. Take time to express your emotions and thoughts to those in the family in age appropriate and calm composed manner.
Use this time to show gratitude towards each other’s contribution to the family including spouse, parents, grandparents and children. Contribute to house-hold work if you don’t already and help others in the house with their designated work like taking acre of children, getting vegetables and dairy products, washing clothes, cooking, etc.
Encourage every one to have a routine which is to their liking and allow some flexibility in your’s and other’s routine. This will engage them and there will be fewer chances of conflicts.
If you dislike what someone in the family is doing, avoid from criticising. Try and have constructive and calm communication with them to understand their perspective and offer yours. Work together to come up with a possible middle ground if everyone persists on their point even after the discussion.
Since everyone is at home all the time, the amount of hosuehold chores has also increased. Divide everyday chores between all in the family according to expertise and engagement in other work like working from from or online schooling. This will ensure that no-one person alone is putting all the efforts and getting fatigued in the lockdown.
Setting boundaries is necessary if you are in house together for 24/7. It is very important to respect each other space. If door is close may be someone is busy in work or reading or do not like to get disturb so knock before rushing inside the room. You can make your own “Do not disturb”, “come in sign” or “busy” sign. Respect privacy and individual space of all, from children to adults.
Spend time together
Try to take it as an opportunity to spend more time together. You all can watch your favorite movies, shows together or even you can play video games or games like ludo, carom, etc for a fixed time everyday. This will ensure that no-one feels lonely and left-out within the family.