The Status of Family Relationships

Natalie Mitchell, ENN Staff

As the weeks of quarantine proceed, some families are starting to fall apart. Many parents of younger children are not used to being at home all day with their children. Parents who are now having to stay home all day, due to their jobs’ recommendations, are not used to having to entertain their children all day, while also trying to get their work done for their jobs. Older children are typically more independent and can find ways to entertain themselves with mobile devices or other time-consuming hobbies, but younger children, such as elementary or pre-school children, do not have their own mobile devices to occupy themselves with. Younger children require constant external stimulus in order for the time to pass. Parents are finding new activities and ideas in order to occupy and entertain their children while also getting work done in between breaks, including nap time for their younger children and even allowing their children to have additional screen time. It has allowed families to spend more quality time with each other that they would not normally get on pre-quarantine weekdays. Dance and Drill Team Director, Amie Harris, admits that this time has allowed her more time to spend with her two young children, but completing school work is a struggle.

“Working from home has allowed me more time to spend with my kids. We have more time to do things like bike rides, nature walks, arts and crafts that are normally crammed into the weekend. When it comes to school work, we have good days and bad days. I was not meant to be a kindergarten teacher, so school work is causing stress between my daughter and I because she does not want to do it, but when she is interested in the work, it is also so rewarding to watch her learn,” Harris said.

It is important to bond with your family members, no matter how old they are. It is important to have a good relationship with your family members, because they are going to be the ones who will be there and stick up for you in the future. Although quarantine is not what most families want to be doing, it has allowed siblings to get closer with each other. Children who have older siblings in college, that are now home from college, are able to spend time and bond with each other again. Children who have younger siblings are also able to get closer with their siblings because they are able to spend time with them in a new way that allows for a better relationship . Sophomore, Jillian Spridco, has an older sister who is home from college and admits that she is happy she is home, but she misses her independence.

“I think that it is good to have her back at home, but at the same time I miss having the whole upstairs to myself and my own bathroom. I just recently had my birthday, and my family and I all hung out together and let me order from my favorite restaurant that I got to choose breakfast from which was nice. My sister did not bother me too much on that day, so it was nice to have her back,” Spridco said.

Although this quarantine is a good bonding experience for families, many families are also going crazy with each other. Parents are stressed out with having to teach their younger children because their children do not want to listen to them or do the work that has been asked of them. Many older children can get annoyed with their family members because they do not have the freedom and ability to hang out with friends like they are used to. Families do not know how to handle each other when they are together at home all the time. The quarantine has made it so that families rarely get any alone time for themselves to get work or school completed; it has also made it so families lack any sort of free time for themselves. Older teenagers are used to having freedom that comes with driving to see friends, but without that freedom, teens get frustrated being stuck in the house all the time. However, some families are trying their best to get along with each other in order to not get frustrated. Sophomore, Olivia Wurtz, is the middle child and says that this isolation has not really affected her family, and she tries to not get frustrated with them.

“Being home all the time is difficult, because you are constantly forced to be isolated, and it is tough, but honestly, my family has not really frustrated me too much. I mean, yes, there are times when I would rather be alone and they not bother me, like when I have dance, because it is my time to practice, and I would rather they not bother me, but they are my siblings. My school and seminary work has not been too stressful with them around, but when I do get frustrated with it, my family tries to help the best they can, and I appreciate them for it,” Wurtz said.

Relationships between family members while being isolated are crumbling in some homes, but growing stronger in others. Bonding and getting closer with siblings and parents is much easier when at home all day, but wanting to have freedom and independence is much harder with isolation. This isolation period has allowed families to bond with each other on a new level.