Tips in Resolving Family Issues During COVID-19
Conflicts are unavoidable. While it's unavoidable, resolving family issues can prevent a mental health decline. Another prominent issue that can affect your family life is the coronavirus pandemic.
Your kids may have heard about the virus, and they may be struggling to adjust. Because one of you got laid off, you and your partner may be in a rough patch. Your parents may be having a tough time because they can't see you or their grandkids. It's a tough time for everyone, and these can lead to an outburst of emotions that develop into conflicts.
When Dealing With Your Kids
Lack of communication causes family problems. Don't be scared to talk about the coronavirus with your kids. Most of the kids already have an idea about what's happening, and it's unhealthy if you avoid talking about it.
Kids act out when they're anxious or upset, so it's vital to know why they feel that way. When you're dealing with your kids, it's crucial to observe the following:
- Talk to your kid about the outbreak, and tell them that they can help by doing the preventive measures.
- Tell them that it's okay to feel upset or sad.
- Share to them what you're feeling and how you cope, so they can mirror you.
- Limit or filter your kid's exposure to the news to lessen the anxiety they feel.
- Help your kids have a sense of structure. Establish nap time, learning time, fun time, and family time.
- When your kid's throwing a tantrum, don't react in anger.
- Do mental check-ups with your kid: Ask how they're doing, what they're feeling, or how can you help them feel better
- If your kid pointed out a mistake you did, don't act angrily. It's okay to get called out when you're wrong.
When your kid sees you as the most trusted news source and the most reliable listener, they will feel safe enough to express their fears and anxieties. Your aim should be helping your kids stay accurately informed. Another goal in mind is to equip them enough so they can cope well during tough times.
When Dealing With Your Parents
"They don't get it", is one of the common responses when dealing with family problems. This response mostly comes from the kids — young ones or even adults.
During COVID-19, it's easy to feel misunderstood because you react in a different way than your family. In resolving issues with your parents, recognizing that they're imperfect can help. Your parents might have unhealthy beliefs, anger issues, or even irrational expectations for your life. Just like you, they're not perfect. They have beliefs that can be different from yours, and being different is okay.
As a child, you would mirror your parents' behavior, their beliefs, and try to be good based on their standards. As you grow, your views change. They are slightly or largely different than your parents'. In today's pandemic, conflicts with your parents may arise because of how they feel about the situation.
Integrating your beliefs with your parents' beliefs is the key to resolve conflict. Here are the following measures you should do to fix conflicts with your parents:
- Do the COVID-19 preventive measures to keep your parents safe.
- Help out in the house, and suggest family activities. Fewer responsibilities create a positive mood.
- If they're not living with you, find ways to check on them through video calls or texting.
- Inform them about COVID-19 updates, and encourage them to practice safety measures.
- Tell them when you feel that they've crossed a line.
- Talk to them about how you feel and how you understand the topic you're disagreeing on.
- Talk about each other's boundaries so that you can be both aware of sensitive topics.
- Open up when you feel stressed, and ask them how do they cope whenever they feel upset.
- If you felt like they brushed you off, try again.
A child-parent relationship can be tough if both parties are not expressive or open. While you can't control your parents' responses, you can control your own. Your parents are grownups, but they can be naive or fragile too. If you think you know more about the situation, educate them with grace and love.
When Dealing With Your Lover
Too much time with your lover or partner can cause conflicts. Even though there's love between the two of you, it's natural to experience a rough patch. The conflicts can be caused by the pandemic's effects on both of your work, finances, social life, or mental health.
When you have relationship issues with your lover, it's important to see your lover not as an enemy but your companion. You're supposed to ride out the good waves and the bad waves together. Here are some tips in resolving family problems with your lover:
- Complement your lover's weak points with your strengths.
- Create a rhythm in your relationships through understanding each other.
- Establish boundaries for each other and some 'me' time.
- If a line has been crossed, talk it out.
- Focus on explaining how you felt about the situation, rather than imposing what you think your lover did.
Related Article: How To Cultivate Relationships During COVID-19 For Lovers
When Dealing With Your Extended Family
Blended family issues are common conflicts because it's a typical American family setting. During today's pandemic, too much time with the extended family can feel suffocating and exhausting.
When you feel stuck with your extended family, it can drain you. Here are tips you should consider doing:
- Be clear about your boundaries so that those around you can be aware.
- Create a schedule where you can unwind and deal with your thoughts.
- Openly talk about how the pandemic is affecting you so you can have a round-table discussion with your family.
- Help with the chores, and initiate fun family activities.
- If a family member crossed a line, talk to that person in an objective way.
- Understand that everyone has an individual process if they feel stressed.
- Practice empathy, and learn to calm a person down when there's an outburst.
- Do the COVID-19 preventive measures, and encourage your family to do it.
It's normal to feel suffocated if you have so many family members and you have blended family issues. When you feel suffocated and drained, it's okay to break away from them. Make time for yourself and your mental health.
Family settings can feel like a pressure cooker. Eventually, one of your family members will explode, and everyone can get hurt. Don't be afraid to try these tips out so it can be easier in resolving family issues.