Looking for balance between family time and alone time? Is your teen around too much?! Are you struggling to find time alone? We all know the feeling. Normally, we have a routine that gives us space and a natural balance between family time and alone time.
This routine allows families to have time together, it allows parents to have time as individuals and couples, and it allows teens to have time with friends. It makes family time more important.
Now what happens when that family time becomes SO frequent that work, school, meals, recreation, and alone time merge together?
Many of the parents we work with at Mindful Healing are finding this time rather interesting (or difficult) to navigate.
Your home may be feeling very crowded now that everyone is in the same space 24/7. You may find yourself irritable, anxious, and frustrated. Your boundaries may be blurring and you may find it difficult to have a schedule or routine.
Parents: let’s take a look at what you can do to help ensure family time doesn’t become TOO much!
Be intentional with your time and space
Prior to this pandemic your life may have had a routine with clear, outlined daily tasks. Parents had work, teens went to school, dinner was at the dining room table, and family time in the living room. Now, everyone is sharing space more frequently. The dining room table has become work, school, and dinner space. Be intentional about how you spend your time and where you spend it. Try to dedicate rooms to certain activities at certain times.
Decide as a family how to work in shared spaces, and make a plan to cope ahead of time.
During this time, it is common for families to be arguing over shared space. One teen may want to eat lunch when their sibling is doing “school” at a shared table, or someone else may want quiet when trying to work in the family room. To avoid these conflicts, talk about shared rooms. Have a family discussion and make a plan to “cope ahead” to avoid these conflicts.
Plan “alone time” into everyone’s day, including yours
Prior to COVID teens and parents had time to themselves. You may not have realized how important your commute was to decompressing until now! Or evening running errands like grocery shopping. So…don’t forget to plan alone time for everyone! Be creative and create ways to get it within the new limits. Maybe, plan time for everyone to be in different places in the house or to go into nature alone.
Allow your kids to help out with work or chores.
It may sound corny, but allowing your children to help you around the house will bring your teen purpose and structure. It allows your teen to have a sense of accomplishment and to feel productive during the day (something they are currently lacking).
Plan a family outing
Yes, stores are closed, but nature isn’t. Get outside, get some sun, exercise, and quality family time. It’s important to change the scenery and just engage in something different. Not to mention, exercise causes the brain to release the “happy hormone” dopamine, which elevates mood and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression!
Family time is crucial in finding unity, strength, and forming long lasting bonds with the people we love.
Family time has been redefined, but we don’t have to let this pandemic taint our definition of family time.
Especially since, family time is pretty much most of our time right now.
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