Raising kids and keeping a marriage happy has always been a challenge. But, as many parents and couples can attest, the difficulty of this challenge increased a thousandfold in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantines and other government restrictions have had parents worrying about jobs, finances, health, and the general uncertainty of life in the midst of a global health crisis.
On the other hand, children struggle with online learning and the lack of opportunities for socialization and entertainment. Families rarely have the chance to go out together, even for church activities. So, what adjustments can parents make to keep their partners and children safe and satisfied despite the ongoing crisis?
This article features a faith-based approach to taking care of your marriage and children while in a pandemic. It includes practical advice for dealing with common relationship problems and helping your children face pandemic-related changes.
Taking care of your marriage
All over the world, couples are finding themselves in heated arguments. These fights may negatively impact marriage and family life. Some couples say that being cooped up for months has revealed major issues. Others say the pandemic only highlighted old problems. Unfortunately, even previously happy couples are splitting up.
Divorce rates in China are surging after the country’s lockdown was lifted. Analysts say that this trend could be a warning to other countries that are yet to lift restrictions. But separation is not the only way to settle a couple’s problems. Below are common problems faced by couples in this pandemic and suggested solutions.
The deeply negative economic impact of the pandemic is seen in rising unemployment rates and reduced working hours. Many couples have not been spared from this problem, which usually results in disagreements about handling the family’s finances. The first step is to keep a positive mindset. Remember that God is bigger than your financial problems. Next, ask yourself where the problem is coming from.
If one of you has been laid off, adjusting your family’s budget is the best way to go. The two of you can think separately about what you believe are necessary expenses. Afterward, have a good, long talk about your spending priorities and limitations. Pray together about your burdens for clarity and guidance.
Satisfaction and happiness
One common reason why couples argue is the lack of alone time. Now that you and your partner stay at home most of the time, you may become more appreciative of their smallest gestures and best qualities. However, little things like dirty dishes left on the sink or used socks strewn on the floor may also get on your nerves more than usual. That’s because spending all your time together in close quarters can feel suffocating. To resolve this, recall that God should be the center of your relationship.
Instead of lashing out at each other, be calm and try to figure out what actions or attitudes irritate both of you. If you can’t seem to sort out your problems by yourselves, don’t be afraid to consult experts. Set an appointment with a psychologist or marriage counselor. Some issues, like physical needs, may seem a bit too personal, but there’s nothing wrong with referring the problem to a professional if you two can’t handle it alone. Other couples find a solution in modern treatments like gainswave shockwave therapy. Whichever solutions you try, remember to work as a team and keep your faith strong.
Taking care of the kids
Many tough decisions about your children’s welfare need to be made in these uncertain times. Here are a few reminders when making difficult decisions for the kids.
Involve children in decision-making
Education is one of the top concerns of parents, pandemic or not. In many countries, children have begun to go back to schools after successful vaccination, treatment, and isolation programs. However, some parents may still feel concerned about their children’s safety. In any case, if your child is old enough to understand the consequences, you can allow them to take part in the decision-making process.
If not, you can still involve your child by explaining how the decision was made and asking them how they feel about it. Children feel a sense of ownership when they are involved in reaching a decision. This will help them feel more satisfied with the results. This can also help prepare them to make decisions of their own in the future.
Try alternative activities
Though children may not be allowed to go out because of health risks, they shouldn’t be deprived of chances for socialization, even virtual ones. Establish routines like attending mass or service online with your kids. Enroll them in online classes that spark their interest. Let them talk and collaborate with other kids virtually. Whenever the chance arises, let children go out for exercise and relaxation, even if it’s just within the neighborhood.
The key to taking care of a family in this pandemic is to keep your faith strong and your communication channels open, whether with your partner or your kids.