Adapting to the New Normal – Tips on Family Life and Parenting
With full-time resocialization starting soon – kids at school and parents at work – it is normal for mixed emotions to spring up, and with that a new set of challenges. Data reveals evidence of the “motherhood penalty” at an all-time high during the pandemic. The new situation is going to be difficult to navigate as it is – and you need to ensure that your home is a safe space to return to, which won’t be easy if you’re doing everything alone.
Division of Responsibilities
Unwillingness to discuss resentment-building issues that cause rifts within the home most of the time, with mothers on overdrive mode and always inches away from burnouts. As such, be sure to sort out the division of responsibilities before the “new normal” commences.
Sitting down to discuss how responsibilities around the house will be shared can help couples prevent conflict. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when having this discussion:
- Honesty – There’s no room for appeasement in a situation that burns you out quickly. Be open to sharing preferences, ideas, and suggestions.
- Specifics – There’s no room for vagueness. Be sure to mark clear-cut responsibilities for each parent.
- Equal Division – Having that 50/50 goal won’t work for every couple and it’s best not to get hung up on it. As long as one parent’s tasks are being significantly reduced, you’re doing the shared responsibilities thing right.
- Flexibility – If you’re rigid with your partner’s tasks, things might go south quickly. Let them work at their own pace, as long as the tasks are being completed before it’s too late.
- Stick to It – There’s no point in having a discussion if one or both of you will end up forgetting the next day. Remember to see it through for maximum success.
As for the Little Ones
Dividing responsibilities isn’t just for you and your partner. If your kids are old enough, they should help around the house with some chores. Now, most tweens and teens aren’t the fondest of having responsibilities bestowed upon them and will often behave rashly during the delegation of tasks. Here are a couple of pointers to stick to as a parent:
- Inappropriate language and insults – If your kid calls you a name when you ask to get a chore done, do not respond to it, even when the urge to ask “what did you just say to me?” is at an all-time high. Repeat the request and end the conversation there.
- Compliance – Kids will try to cleverly subvert the rules by requesting five extra minutes repeatedly but, you have to put your foot down. Do not yield to these requests and don’t backpedal.
- Emotional outbursts – If your kid is yelling, do not engage. Instead, simply walk away and ask them to find you when they have their emotions under control.
Wrapping It Up
Even after a year of facing what was perhaps one of the biggest contemporary disasters, the world and its citizens are still in recovery mode. In a life that almost always felt steady, the pandemic broke out uncharted territory that families struggled to navigate through. If you and your family are going through a similar time of incertitude, know that you’re not alone.
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