Ongoing Effects of Covid-19 on Families

Covid-19 hit everyone hard, including families. It changed our lives in many ways. Is it still changing our lives? Yes! It has made changes in many people’s closest relationships – the family.

As we spent more time in our homes, we spent more time with family than friends. For many this means that their families were brought closer together. For others it emphasized their weaknesses. The same shows true for friendships outside of the family. Some chose to put forth more effort into communicating from a distance, others allowed distance to increase emotionally as well as physically.

Ordinary Magic

The University of Worcester has published a study on the lasting impacts on families during Covid-19 Pandemic.

The vast majority of parents in the study reported enjoying spending time with their children during lockdown, however, three quarters felt overwhelmed by the childcare responsibilities and have been anxious about their children’s education.

One of the remarkable findings of the study is that just over a third of couples (36%) felt that lockdown has been a positive experience for them; and about four in 10 couples reported that following lockdown they felt they were closer than before, despite also feeling tension in their relationship and both partners worrying. These findings point to the underlying resilience in family relationships – the so-called ‘ordinary magic’ – which enables couples to thrive and bring each other closer despite facing adversity.

Study Finds Lasting Impacts on Families During Covid-19 Pandemic – University Of Worcester

The “ordinary magic” that brings families closer together through the hard times is a precious gift and we need to protect that treasure and not lose it.

An Opportunity the Lockdown Gave Us

Dr Misca commented: “A narrow focus on what has been bad about the pandemic and its scars on our families and relationships will miss the opportunities that this crisis has inadvertently given us, such as the opportunity to change our ways of relating to each other that have been taken for granted; and the opportunity to find better and more sensitive ways to support each other in the future.”

“As we approach the landmark of a year since the World Health Organization has declared the Covid-19 outbreak a global pandemic, it is important to find a moment to stop, reflect and search for the ‘ordinary magic’ of resilience in what undoubtedly has been an extraordinary time for individuals, couples, parents, families and society”, concluded Dr Misca.

Study Finds Lasting Impacts on Families During Covid-19 Pandemic – University Of Worcester

Have you recognized the positive changes that occurred because of the Lockdown? Are you working to preserve them?

3 Things to Keep Ordinary Magic Alive

What is the easiest way to keep that magic alive? Studies have shown that there are three simple things we can do:

  1. Dine together as a family.
  2. Go on family outings.
  3. Read to a child.

The Covid-19 pandemic upended many family dynamics but one positive consequence of this upheaval: Parents shared more dinners and read to their children more often, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

Dine Together as a Family

This can be a meal that you prepared together and then gathered around the table to eat. It can also be picking up food at the takeout window and then eating it on the drive home. The point is you are together and filling a basic, fundamental need for survival – eating.

Go on Family Outings

An activity as simple as walking together to the mailbox and back home bonds us. It encourages communication, trust, and increases our “pack” mentality. It increases our desire to go on “adventures” together. Family outings can be family vacations, a trip to the zoo, or a simple walk in the park. The point is that we are together and experiencing something.

Read to a Child

There are many benefits to reading to a child, a quick Google search will pull up lists and lists of what they learn. We are seeking to increase our bonds as a family and reading creates just that. You don’t have to be a parent reading to a small child, you can continue to read together as a family as children grow older. Reading together creates a sense of intimacy as you share favorite books, imagine new lives and worlds together, and it creates a sense of safety. This can be a bedtime story or simply sharing the grocery list. Reading aloud creates communication and books can lead to meaningful discussion about all sorts of topics.

During the pandemic we learned what is truly valuable – families and relationships. We want to continue to remember that and are here to help you find what works for you and yours. Stop by to see what Family Life Education classes can best support you.