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Re-engaging with Families

Julie Allsopp

Our Coaching team take a look at the questions we might find helpful as we re-engage with society in different ways after lockdown. In this article, we look at how to re-emerge well as a stronger family unit.

Families have had a tough time over the last year; lockdowns, home-schooling  and tiers have left most families in literal tears on more than one occasion! There may have been dramatic changes in work patterns, loss of work and financial stress.  

You may have found yourself thinking: This is the family we always wanted, longed for, waited for… so why is it so difficult for us to slow down and be together? Maybe you’ve relished the slowness and lack of activity and it’s actually the easing of restrictions that are raising your stress levels.  

People may have enjoyed time together as a family, but it may have highlighted tensions in relationships that had been hidden in the busyness of life. Reflecting on your experience of the pandemic, together as a family, can be really powerful and have a positive influence on how we emerge from lockdown as a stronger family unit. 

Instead of rushing to re-create the to-do lists and schedules of activities we did pre-lockdown, let’s think about a to-be list. What do we want to BE as a family, who are we and who do we want to become? Conversations are great with older kids, but it is possible to get the little ones drawing and acting out family moments with the help of teddies! 

Take some time to ask: 

  • What has our family done differently this last year that has been really good? 
  • If you could have one prayer for family life when we’re out of lockdown, what would it be? 

Or try a ‘fill in the blanks’ activity with all the family: 

  • One word we would like people to use to describe our family in the next year is _____________
  • We want people in our family to feel _____________
  • Two things that are important to our family are _____________ and _____________

For younger children why not get them to draw pictures of what they would like family life to look like? You can start them off by asking: What are the family doing together? How do they know they belong in the family? Draw your best family day ever and describe why it’s so good! 

If we take the time to ask those questions and think about what we would like our family BE like, then we’ll be able to make decisions about new activities and opportunities that line up with the things that are important to our family. As a family this might be the reset we need to start living out what’s important to us, together as a family. 

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