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    6 ways to create a strong family during COVID-19

    With online learning from home coming to a close, we here in Pastoral Care want to thank you for the big effort that you have put in with regard to supervising your children, probably sometimes under trying circumstances. Bless you all and feel encouraged knowing that you have all done your best. In a recent email from Parenting Ideas, author Michael Grose has talked about 6 ways to create a strong family that minimizes conflict during the COVID-19 period. I thought I’d share his thoughts as they are valuable for maintaining calm in the home far beyond COVID-19. So here they are, albeit somewhat adapted by me:

    1. Avoid rivalry – avoid sibling comparison, be genuine in accepting individual differences and recognize each child’s role in the family.
    2. Have regular family meetings – if there is trouble brewing, meet together to hear each child’s story and look for solutions. Be sure that meetings are regular, well-managed and that the decisions made together are adhered to.
    3. Spend time with each child – one-on-one interactions with each of your children negates the need for them to compete for your attention. When a child feels valued and listened to, they are less likely to fight for the attention of their parent or sibling.
    4. Bring the family together – the family that plays together stays together, so where able, be intentional about having some family fun and enjoying each other’s company. Evening meals, the movies or some outside higher energy activity could be included on a regular basis. The aim of the get together is to have fun.
    5. Know when to stay apart – encourage your children to spend some time alone each day so they can relax, reflect and draw on their own emotional resources. Time alone is often not fully valued and appreciated as a means of contributing to a child’s resilience and mental health.
    6. Have a process to sort out squabbles – try not to sort squabbles on the run, although at times things will need to be sorted in real-time, but where possible, attempt to choose a time and place when the kids are settled and hopefully ready to calmly look for a solution. 

    Here’s to trying out these little gems and here’s to happy families. Remember, we are here at Pastoral Care to be of assistance to you in any way that is needed. Our email follows.

    pastoral.care@fcc.qld.edu

    Blessings, David, Wendy & Carla.