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How to Improve Family Life

Being cooped up at home has been tough...

We’ve lived, worked, learnt and played at home over the past few months and we’ve spent much more time at home than we normally would have. We’ve had to try and create separate areas for work/school and homelife and for some of us it’s been easier than others.

Probably at least half of us have been in a situation where we’re midway through a Zoom conference call and one of our children storms through the door shouting ‘Muuuuuuuum’ because they don’t understand that when we are working, we can’t be interrupted. Or when our new puppy has an accident on the living room carpet which needs cleaning up immediately, we’ve all had our fair share of distractions!

It’s also been tough on our mental health as we’ve struggled to leave work at work, and we’ve worried about our children’s education and the impact it will have on their mental health growing up in this ‘new normal’ world. It’s been especially difficult for the younger ones to understand what’s happening and why they couldn’t play out with their friends or see their grandparents, but we’re hopefully through the worst of it.

That said, we must err on the side of caution and do our best to remain home where possible, as this is one environment that we can control and protect our family in the best way we can.

Here are a few of our top tips on how to improve family life whilst you’re safe at home:

Extend your home

We’re probably fed up of tripping up over each other at home and it’s time to make a few small changes to really enhance our time with family members.

Try adding a Conservatory or Orangery extension onto your home. Many of us just haven’t had the space for two adults and numerous children to be working and learning from home, (especially without any prior warning). We adapted the spare room or relocated to the living room but it’s difficult when your squished into a small space or a space that’s exposed to many distractions.

By adding an extension, you can gain another ‘office’ or ‘teaching’ space to really make sure you get the most out of your days. You also add value to your home so it’s money well invested.

 

Get outside

Whether in your garden through your Bi-Fold doors or a brisk walk around your neighbourhood, get outside, and enjoy some fresh air with your family—spending time outdoors can revive your senses and boost your energy.

Pro tip – set up an assault course in your garden for the children and watch them from the comfort of your home with a gin and tonic in hand.

 

Make signs

To help your children understand that work and homelife are separate, why not try creating colourful signs which represent visible boundaries.

The signs could say ‘do not disturb’ or ‘Mummy/Daddy is busy’ and get the kids involved by painting them, adding glitter or whatever they fancy. Just make sure they understand the reason why the signs are present and once they’re up follow the rules.

 

Create a ‘family time’ calendar

Since many of us have hectic schedules, even whilst working from home, time with children often becomes a low priority. Post a calendar on the fridge and help your children pencil in special events; you could have a teddy bears picnic in the garden or sleep out under the stars.

Knowing in advance when you’re going to meet may help by giving you more time to think of creative activities. Try and commit to keeping this schedule free from interruptions.

 

Share tasks and work as a team

When your family is working as a team, everyone feels supported and able to contribute. It’s easier to work as a team when everyone understands where they stand, so it helps to have clear expectations, limits and boundaries.

You could hold family meetings to let the children make some of their own decisions, this could be family activities, rules or holiday destinations, let them have their say and act upon their opinions.

Sharing household chores gives even very young children the feeling of belonging that comes from making a contribution – sometimes, at least!

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