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Preventing conflict while spending more time at home

Covid-19 has changed everything.

People now wear masks to the grocery store.

The malls have been closed.

Toilet paper is hard to find.

And for every change we have seen in our country, just as many changes have occurred in our homes.

Parents who commuted now work from home or maybe have lost their jobs.

Most children missed out on the end of the school year, and seniors missed their graduations. Organized sports have been canceled, and the hope for summer vacations appear dim.

As a result, families are spending more time together than ever before. And while the idea of spending more time together sounds fun, many families are struggling to cope and adapt. Families are under more pressure, and with the close quarters and so much uncertainty, what can they do to prevent conflict and make the best of this time?

Well, here are a few tips that might help.

First, remember that one family member can make a difference. What that means is that if everyone is getting angry or raising their voices, you don’t have to participate. In fact, if you don’t raise your voice when things get tense, it might even deflate the situation. Even if that doesn’t work, at least you didn’t get drug into a heated exchange with someone you love.

Second, ask for timeouts. There doesn’t have to be a conflict for people to get away by themselves. In fact, it’s wise throughout the day for family members to take a timeout and recoup. This frees each family member from the pressure of constantly interacting. Then, the potential for conflict is reduced when everyone comes back together.

Third, create a schedule. For example, make one night game night. Make another takeout night. Create a schedule that allows each family to take a turn picking out a movie. It can be anything really. What the schedule does is break up the monotony and make each day distinct. If it goes well, it might even give families something to look forward to each day.

Ultimately, remind yourself that family tension is inevitable, but these tips might make them less frequent and less intense.


Gordon Duncan is the pastor of Evident Grace Fellowship.He has been married to Amy for 24 years, and they have 3 teenage daughters.Friday is their game night.