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Spending Time with your Family, Differently

The Coronavirus requires us, as a family, to prepare for a new and challenging routine, in which we will spend much more time together. The present situation should be used as an opportunity to form closer family bonds. So how can we do this?
 
Relay the reality of the current situation and the guidelines to your children: Your children need to realize that the change in routine is due to the current situation
. They see that their parents are more present at home, educational establishments are unavailable, and that grandma and grandpa have stopped visiting. Therefore, it's important to explain to them what is going on and explain the gravity of the situation, in accordance with their age, of course. Minimize uncontrolled exposure to reports of the situation in order to avoid trauma or confusion. Stress and anxiety is natural during this time, however, it's a parent's responsibility to convey confidence to their children so they can naturally feel what their parents are feeling.

It's important to encourage children who don’t express themselves verbally
to express themselves emotionally through other means such as painting or puppet theatre. It's advised to explain to adolescents the level of risk and to highlight the preventative measures that should be taken, such as, social distancing, washing hands, and to avoid touching their face to reduce the likelihood of being infected by the virus. Allow them to express how they feel. It's important to let them ask questions and it's okay to admit that you don't have all the answers.

Create a sense of responsibility among all family members:
In the current situation it's important to emphasize the adolescent's responsibility to help with household chores and tasks such as looking after little siblings, cleaning their room and so on.

Time for
Family Bonding: Spending so much time together can create natural tension and friction between family members that can be overcome through using simple awareness tools. It's important to allow room for family members to express their feelings towards one another. Maintain their regular daily routine, whilst allowing your children to help you do so. It's recommended to keep their routine of meals at regular intervals. Let your family members spend time together. It's a good time to get to know one another better; through games, for example, where everyone can talk about what they love, their dreams or something that nobody knows about them.
 
Set
Goals: Take advantage of the long time you have to spend with your children and work on enriching them with new knowledge in new fields. For example, learning to play a musical instrument with online lessons, learning a new language, or even learning a new programming language.

Stay in touch with family and friends: During this time, it is important not to disconnect from your support systems. So be sure to keep in touch with people in your immediate and distant circles, by phone or video chats.