Isolation of families throughout recent weeks has brought both dark and light into homes. For families already struggling with a member determined to exercise their authority, the forced loss of control has escalated couple and family violence. Those they target have been further disadvantaged by the fear of contracting COVID-19 in a shelter.
By contrast other families have discovered unexpected joy in their relationships. The necessity to remain in each other’s company and resolve the stressors of living by not escaping into the outside world has produced higher levels of co-operation, tolerance and problem-solving capacity. Another benefit is release from a hectic activity and social schedule.
The pace of life has slowed as parents no longer are able to take children from one after school activity to the next, believing that failure to do so is disadvantaging their child. Instead they discover a space opens for genuine conversation and connection and the parent child relationship transforms into something richer than taxi driver and cook. Others report joy in the discovery of time spent alone to think freely or engage in activities that were never previously never given time. Despite recognition of these benefits a sad dialogue is emerging about how these will be lost as parents return to work and children to school. Now is a good time to consider, ‘Do we really want to go back to the old ‘normal’ or are there positive changes to be incorporated into our future as a family and society’?