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We celebrate National Family Month during the five weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Typically, the school year is winding down, and families have more time to spend together, focusing on the things we may not always have time for during the busy school year.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust families across the nation into uncharted territory. As we grapple with our new normal, families are experiencing a variety of new and extremely stressful situations. The latest fears and challenges present a powerful opportunity to bond as a family.
Now more than ever, it is essential to harness and celebrate the strength we find in each other and develop new ways of supporting those we love.
Family time is undoubtedly plentiful these days, (and to our first responders and essential personnel still hard at work – thank you!), but it’s important to keep traditions and activities going even after we’re back to our regular schedules for work, school, and other activities.
One tried-and-true option is planning and cooking meals together. Committing to spending quality time as a family at the dinner table provides a regular touchpoint for talking through problems and an opportunity to create beautiful memories.
With all the stress of the past few months, having fun and laughing together is more important than ever. Harness the kid’s extra energy by dividing and conquering housework, taking walks together, playing outdoor games or board games, even working on home improvement projects! Don’t forget to find fun new ways to include grandparents and other distant family members via calls and video chats!
A couple financial lessons we have been reminded of during the COVID-19 crisis are that every dollar counts, and it is important to save money for times of uncertainty.
It is not easy to talk about fiscal matters, nor to share our concerns with our children, but this crisis may present an occasion to look at financial planning with a new lens. For example, reflecting on the struggle of grocery shopping over the past few months could help kids learn to make better use of what is already on hand, ask for fewer snacks and treats, and prioritize community members in need.
Communicating with one another about financial commitments and important decisions, especially during uncertain times when budgets are strained, is sure to strengthen your bond as you set and reach financial goals as a family. While there are sure to be disagreements, there are also lessons to be learned about listening, communicating calmly, and giving everyone time to express their opinion.
National Family Month was created to help kids build confidence and the courage to face the variety of things life throws at us. Remember that family is their first and most powerful support system and that they are learning from our example. Especially amid uncertain times, lean on your loved ones for support, learn from each other, and in the end, you’ll be stronger together!