The COVID has changed the rules of the game, also in our families.
I love the reflection on COVID-19 made by psychologist F. Morelli in the newspaper El Mundo, particularly with respect to families: “I believe the universe has its own way of restoring balance to things – according to its own laws – when they are disrupted. The coronavirus is forcing us to close schools and look for alternative solutions, to put mum and dad together with their children again. It is forcing us to be families”. In an increasingly frenetic world, where we all spend our days running back and forth, taking things for granted and believing we control time, we suddenly come to a standstill, which is a completely new situation for us, full of uncertainty and restrictions that may be further increased every day.
However, we can see a very positive side to all of this: we can take advantage of this time to spend it with our families. How much time do you usually spend doing fun pleasant activities with your children? The time we devote to our kids’ childhood is a decisive factor for their education and the transmission of values. As parents, we are their main points of reference. Their personalities are shaped by taking our words and actions as true. They learn from us. After a study carried out by Nora Kurtin with over 3,400 parents, whose goal was to find out
How much time we spend with our children on a daily basis, the result was that during their first 12 years of life, we spend around 27,980 hours with them. This translates into three years, two months and nine days. That would be an average of three hours a day from Monday to Friday. It may be more in your particular case, but it is actually so little time, especially considering that it is very likely that the majority of that time is spent on tasks such as taking or picking them up from school, after-school activities, doing their homework…
Our excessive number of duties (work house chores, social activities…) turns us into super busy people and we see how time slips through our fingers. Let’s use the confinement to spend some quality time with our families. But what does quality time mean? It means time of full attention.
It means sharing moments, conversations, tasks and activities with them, so that our children can be active and feel listened to. Let’s also help our children to understand what is going on. They are exposed to a lot of information that their minds cannot process and that can cause them anxiety and fear. Here are some tips that may be useful to you: provide them with information suitable to their ages; teach them some basic hygiene rules for helping them control the situation; reassure them by explaining to them that our cities rely on people such as health professionals and security forces who will work to ensure our health and safety; and try to prevent them, as much as possible, from being exposed to the media.