7 May, 2020

Surviving Families under Covid-19 #6

This week we're going to focus on the opportunities and positives of this lockdown situation.

The topic today is family bonding and this is particularly relevant at this time while we are all spending much more time together as families. The current lockdown situation, with the removal of previous stressors of family life such as the rush to school or extracurricular activities, can been seen as an opportunity to spend time together as a family and enjoy each other's company.


Why is family bonding important?

Family bonding is important as it builds and enhances the relationship between parents and children. Research has evidenced that the more an adolescent feels they matter or are important in the family the less likely they are to engage in threatening or violent behaviour in the home. This is important at this current time but improved relationships can also help to reduce problems once we move past the current lockdown. For more information on dealing with conflict in family relationships see our previous article HERE >

It is well known that adolescence is a time of risk taking behaviour. If we consider an adolescent that has a strong relationship with a parent, if they get themselves into trouble they are far more likely to ask for help than another who does not have this relationship. In effect, they stronger the relationship between parent and child the safer the child in the future. The stronger the bond between parent and child can also result in improved self-esteem and resilience.

The best thing about this is that family bonding can be fun for both the parent and child. It is as simple as making time to do things together and talk to each other.


What can you do to support family bonding?

Some examples that might be fun to try while we're all in lockdown are:

  • Cooking a meal together
    • Jamie Oliver has been pulling together recipes that the whole family - from kids to teens - can enjoy cooking together . And if you need some help wrangling the devices away try signing up to the #DeviceFreeDinner movement for ideas
       
  • Playing games as a family
    • here are some good easy to play games that might inspire you
    • there's a few games and apps that allow all the family to play a cooperative game together. We love Space Team
       
  • Watching a film together and talking about it afterwards
    • Common Sense Media invite parents and kids to review movies, TV, games, apps and books (and a whole lot more) to make this easier for you
       

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  • Going for a walk together
    • The Netdoctor gives you some good reasons why this is good for your health and it's good to get out on neutral space now and again, even better if it's in nature
       
  • Family exercise at home
  • Helping with homework
    • Try to think of the work as an opportunity to spend time together rather than focusing on having to get everything right. If it becomes enjoyable it will be more likely to happen again. Try this article for some top tips from experts on homeschooling
       
  • Gardening
    • if you have a garden or space for a window box try growing some fruit or vegetables and seeing how these grow. This is also a good exercise in being patient, plants will grow at their own pace. There's a ton of stuff online to help and inspire you. Try planting a pizza garden

We regularly post ideas and activities on our Facebook page and our Notes section has top 10 activity lists to try. 

        

Overall, it does not really matter what activity you do as long as you do it together and focus on having an enjoyable time with each other, the activity is secondary. You could make the worlds most awful cake together or plant vegetables that never grow but as long as you had fun with each other it does not really matter.

Try to see this time as an opportunity to enjoy each other company, try something new and most of all have some fun together.

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Coronavirus update for YST services

At Gloucestershire Youth Support Team (YST) our priority is the safety and well being of the young people we work with and the staff that work so hard to support them. So for the foreseeable future, the YST will be delivered online and over the phone rather than in person.

All group work and events have been postponed until further notice, but we aim to keep in touch via social media and here. You can still contact us at info.glos@prospects.co.uk.

We will continue a skeleton service for those who are considered at high risk and do what we can to ease the burden and risks of social distancing and social isolation. We know these are difficult times, keep safe.

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