Family Quarantine #WinSpiration Part II
In Part 1 of #WinSpiration we offered new habits developed and practiced by separating parents in quarantine under local government’s precautions to keep its citizens safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are more WinSpiration lifestyle practices to help parents and spouses balance support their loved ones while they manage maintaining the security, emotional health and well being during their separation in the same household.
#1 Seek Supportive Advice and Not Enforcement Measures
Parents may be struggling to act with civility with each other in the presence of the children and extended family members residing with them during the quarantine. Holding an entrenched position or calling the police to support your position in an argument may feel appealing. Be mindful of the others in the household and the impact of escalating that fight will have on their already fragile mental health during these trying times.
Stepping outside and taking long slow breaths is a remarkably effective calming self-care strategy that will center you quickly.
Together implement other approaches to quell potential conflict such as active listening, eliminating confusion with agreed clear guidelines, being accountable, and taking responsibility to work together to develop friction prevention tactics.
Online family counseling services, settlement focussed family law lawyers, and mediation services are available to parents and spouses during separation online using telephone, Zoom, and other communication apps.
#2 Limiting Screen Time
Rewarding behavioral change in children to encourage finishing chores, for example, by permitting more screen time may affect their levels of concentration, listening skills, and sleeping habits. Counter a screen – dopamine experience with family interaction such as a football game where they need to be communicating with others, hearing and following instructions, functioning as a team, and developing new skills. These interactions with caregivers or activity leaders are important in that they “model and teach emotional regulation” offers Tom Warshawski, Kelowna pediatrician, and Chair of Childhood Obesity Foundation. “without those skills, a child might be quicker to anger, become frustrated or shut down”. Today’s Parent, January 15, 2020 “Here’s why screen s bring out the worst in your kid”.
#3 Bring Nature Into Your Home
Although public parks may be on the restricted access list until the quarantine lifts, gardens lining the neighbourhood streets offer great opportunities to smell the flowers, watch bugs do their thing, and listen to the birds. Take pictures to use later for an art challenge or paper mâché project. Growing seeds, flower pressing, and learning flower arranging were other suggested ideas.
#4 Being Physically Active Alone and Together
Going outside rotating between being alone with small family group ventures for walks, cycling, runs, scooter, frisbee, and other activities. All the while practicing your government’s pandemic precautions and directives during this period of quarantine through physical distancing, sneezing into the bent elbow, using a washable nose and mouth face mask and gloves.
Surveyed separating parents commented on videos of challenges to run the distance of a marathon in a small space or impressively conquer Guinness World Records®. They were inspired to set an activity challenge to relieve stress and develop skill sets they never knew that had. Carpe diem!
#5 A Space of One’s Own Incorporated in the Scheduling
If possible, included in each scheduling plan should be time separate from others within a quarantine space. While a family may together practice spiritual reflection, talk through their worst fears, and struggle with online school assignments, private time can be invaluable to grab a nap, share video time with a trusted friend, or other activity supporting mental health. Personal space may be at a premium so for kids being creative with bedsheets and opened sleeping bags can help them feel special yet still part of a nurturing family.
Lorisa Stein MA JD FEA continues to accept new clients exercising government and health officials’ precautions during the pandemic. Communications are welcome to her direct line 416 596-8081, by email to email@example.com and by arranged video conferencing.