Academics at the University of Essex have found that despite the stresses caused by the Covid pandemic, families have largely benefitted from spending more time together and have reported being surprised by the love, strength and quality of their family relationships, with the lockdowns leading them to not simply survive in the pandemic but thrive.
Generally, people felt relationships with their children were better now than they had been at the beginning of 2020, and they were optimistic they would continue to improve - although those with teenagers reported less satisfaction than families with younger children.
Research by academics and the charity Family Action, based on two surveys of parents, revealed that despite the lockdown-related stresses, particularly around schooling, children’s behaviour and money, the survey findings suggest families proved “resilient”. In total 1,015 parents in the UK were surveyed in December 2020 and May 2021 about conflict and communication within households before and during Covid.
Dr Veronica Lamarche from the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex, said: “The really positive thing we found is Covid has generally not destroyed families.
“People have been really resilient and have largely been able to withstand the stresses and pressures without being crushed by the pandemic. In many cases relationships have actually improved.
“Conflict during Covid was a normal occurrence for most families, but many have come out the other side feeling positively about their families.”
“What’s important now is that we find out what external support families need – whether it’s support for home schooling, financial help or counselling - to help them tap into, and benefit from, the strength they have within their own family. This will mean we are better prepared the next time there is a crisis.”
Families said the lockdowns had made them realise sharing experiences – meals, activities and making new memories together – were important. Many parents also expressed surprise at how skilled their partners were at work and household chores.
The full story, as reported by daynurseries.co.uk can be found here.