In these uncertain times, everything in life is being tested. Your small challenges can easily become much bigger, whether that’s in work, relationships, faith, health or finances. There’s a lot that you cannot control right now, but there are things that you can work on, too. I recently hosted a Facebook Live with my bride, Beverly, to share some advice from my family to yours on how to thrive in your family relationships during these unprecedented times.
Be Patient With Your Relationships
At the beginning of our marriage, Beverly and I made a commitment to serve one another, and we always try to outdo each other in that service. The aim is to get better, not bitter! Right now, you and your partner need to be on the same team. In stressful times, little things that used to mildly annoy you may now really aggravate you. That’s just because of the circumstances. So, yes there might be strain and irritation, but remember that you are in it together. The best tip for unity is humility. Be humble about the situation. Love is patient — now is the time to exercise that patience! Keep in mind that a gentle answer turns away wrath, whereas a harsh answer stirs up anger. Exercise patience throughout the day and you will minimize any arguments.
Make the Most Out of Family Time
In our family life, our goal has always been to connect with what our kids are into. Right now, that can be anything from spending time listening to music they like to watching movies together. It doesn’t really matter what it is, just work to be part of their world and you will create unity and a bond. Also, try to engage and connect with your kids in an authentic way. Even if they are being distant, they still want love, so don’t focus on the differences, but instead find common ground. Catch them doing something good every day and compliment them on it — this will make a difference! One of the advantages we have felt during this time has been the opportunity to eat dinner together every night, showing us that there are blessings in the hardship that help you recapture magic that might have been lost. The main thing to remember is that you have to be flexible – you can’t just always lay down the rules. This an unusual situation, so give your kids some freedom, let them have ownership and their say and see what you can learn from them.
Be Flexible While Homeschooling
We have homeschooled our kids their whole lives. Our main tip is not to try to bring school home. You are not a school facility and you can’t be like a teacher in the school system. Every family and every child are different and this is actually a real opportunity for your kids to work within their learning styles. There will always be adversity and unexpected interruptions, so plan for these and deal with them by communicating and talking about it. The main thing is to be there for your children, listen to them and get to know them through this process. Being able to work and learn independently are so important so make it clear what you expect and that they are accountable and then let them own their journey and do it their way. It’s also vital to encourage them to stay active, keep motivated and be happy.
We are in the middle of a storm right now but hold fast because it will not look like this forever. Don’t make life decisions based on this crisis. Instead, take each day as it is and remember that better days are coming.