How to Have Quality Family Togetherness Time During This Time

Families everywhere are discovering that life with "stay at home" and "work from home" orders can be very challenging.

So it's a good time during all this "family togetherness time" to read these tips for getting through it from Steven P. Dinkin, who is president of the San Diego based National Conflict Resolution Center. And remember, as we all face the tensions during this unprecedented time of the coronavirus, we all can and will get through this time:

1. Hold a family meeting (even if you’re a household of two): Let every family member talk about what they want to get out of this “break.” Agree on a plan for tackling the chores that still need to get done. Set a daily schedule.

Alexandra Stockwell, a business owner who home-schools her four children, writes in Vox, “The best schedule is one that is spacious and flexible, and builds in plenty of independent learning and play time for kids and reliable break times for me.” She begins with breakfast and divides the day into two-hour increments until dinner.

2. Set boundaries: If you haven’t already, define a work space that is separate from home life, if possible, and establish “office hours.” Make agreements as a family to stay connected and communicative, while respecting these boundaries. And recognize that encroachment is inevitable.

3. Check-in: How are things going? A daily download of what’s working and what isn’t — perhaps at the dinner table — can allow you to course correct before things get out of hand. Be sure to listen to each other and ask for support, when needed.

4. Maintain a sense of humor: Finding the funny is a known stress buster. Start your day with a smile (even if you have to fake it). Interject a surprise, something you normally wouldn’t do as a family: wear pajamas all day.

5. Be compassionate: Acknowledge that social distancing, our new normal, isn’t easy for any of you (second cup of coffee aside). There will be good days and bad — and with them, times to give and receive special kindness.

(Photo credit c.e.albert)

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