Modern Family: What It Takes To Be One During The ‘New Normal’

It has been seven months since the first case of COVID-19, and the whole world has been changed in too many ways. The health care systems are reaching full capacity, while educational institutions are facing challenges.

Groups have been dismantled, as quarantine guidelines have been imposed with masks and social distancing becoming the essentials of this new normal.

Even the smallest unit of the community is adjusting. The parents who have always been traveling to work every day, and teenagers who have been studying in far-away universities now sit in front of shared desks at home.

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The boundary separating work and personal life have become blurry since parents started to adapt to a work-from-home scheme. The home that used to be the place of rest has now become an office, school, and quarantine facility.

At the rate that the pandemic is going, we will be spending more time with our families for the next few months. And no matter how much we love our family, staying with them 24/7 may not be how you dreamed of spending your year 2020. So what can we do to adapt to this new normal fully?

Check For Updates

Information is essential, whether it may be about the pandemic or your relatives living far away. With the imposed quarantine protocols, meetings with relatives are no longer viable.

Be sure to turn on the news every day to read up on things to do and avoid during this pandemic. After all, there are so many things yet to know about the virus.

Checking for updates also involves calling your relatives or friends. Call them to ask how they are holding up and let them know that despite the distance, that you are there for them. After all, social distancing only requires a 1-meter physical distancing and not social isolation.

Improve Communication

Communication has always included both words and gestures. But now, when physical interactions and gatherings are prohibited, communication has become strictly confined to words or memes exchanged over the internet.

While communication mostly involves links to the outside world, it also consists of the connection you have with your family. Now that you are all in one house every day for 24 hours, you must develop better communication skills.

Everything that used to be common sense and unspoken rules – like who gets to shower first or who will wash the dishes – needs to be discussed thoroughly. Effective communication would help you and your family avoid grave disagreements over petty reasons like scheduling.

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Set Limits

As Mark Twain once said, too much of anything is bad. Sure, taking overtime might yield extra cash or even put you up on the right side of your boss, but remember that more work hours can also increase your electricity bills.

Aside from that, overworking yourselves may only lead to the obsession of getting office work and academic requirements done, which can then lead to added stress and, eventually, to burnout. This rule not only applies to those family members who are already working, but also to those still in school.

You must monitor the time they spend staring at their computer screens. And if they want to learn more in advance or do their homework ahead of time, be sure to help them out and encourage seeking references from printed modules or books to avoid overworking their eyes.

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Learn Together

With the strict protocols to ensure physical distancing, most functions have converted to remote means that include gadgets and the internet.

Over the months of quarantine, different kinds of applications have been emerging to support remote tasks. There’s Zoom, Trello, and Slack to support both online work and online learning.

While these applications are user friendly, one still needs to learn its basics and to adjust to such an environment. Old parents may have a hard time understanding all the nuances of computer applications. Ask for the help of your tech-savvy teenager.

In contrast, younger children may have a hard time focusing on their screen and avoid opening other tabs for videos or games. Be patient in teaching your toddler how to behave. Now, more than ever is a time to be one with your family.

The thing is, adjusting to these new normal is a challenge for everyone, and the only way to be able to cope with these progressive technologies is by learning together.  

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Surely these changes might not have been the ones we asked for when we dreamed of a fresh start for the year, but these changes are ones we have to comply with to ensure our safety.

Some changes might be hard to get accustomed to, but so long as you remember these simple steps, you can easily overcome these changes with your modern family.

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