Family Relationships During the Coronavirus
by The Mind Faculty
The precautions imposed by the Movement Control Order (MCO) necessitate us to spend more time at home with our loved ones. This means that families are spending more time together than they ever expected, and there can be growing pains as we start to define the new boundaries.
Couples may struggle over the division of household labour, children fight to carve out their own space and parents looking for a moment of quiet amidst the chaos.
We speak to our relationship counsellor Sharan Kaur on how we can stay connected to our family members, while staying sane:
Being cooped up at home may lead to certain questions or issues being raised again and again. What's for dinner? Whose turn is it to wash the dishes? Who gets to use the television?
We may not always agree on what to do, and taking turns is a diplomatic way to ensure that everyone has an equal share of responsibility, and reward. For example, the person making dinner gets to decide what to watch on TV. Make sure that every family member has a turn. This is a way of making everyone feel included and feel like part of a team.
Using Terms of Endearment
We may begin to take our family members for granted being in such close quarters over an extended period of time. By consciously using a term of endearment to address our partner/children/parent can remind us of how much we love them and soften the emotional tone of our sentence. "Darling, do the dishes" will yield much better results than "Eh, do the dishes!".
It is a stressful time. No matter what we do, conflicts are bound to arise. The biggest mistake we can make when trying to resolve a conflict is using power. This can be between a parent and child (e.g., I am your parent and you will do what I say) or between a couple (e.g., raising voices). When we use power to solve a conflict, we are only pushing the problem under the rug and not dealing with the root cause.
Watch TV Together
The reality of being at home is that most of us are on our personal devices. We can spend some time together with our families by picking out a television show to watch together. Whether it's a light hearted comedy or a binge-worthy series, it gives you a shared interest to bond over.
Learn more about how we can stay connected while staying sane during the coronavirus pandemic:
If you are feeling overwhelmed during this period, please get in touch with us to make an appointment. The Mind Faculty is a mental health therapy clinic in Kuala Lumpur. We offer couples counselling, relationship counselling and family therapy sessions. These are held face to face or online during the MCO.