COVID-19 has created a great deal of uncertainty in our lives. We’ve changed our routines and taken on new parenting roles like teaching our children from home. That’s why we’ve turned to our experts for tips to help us manage these changes while improving our family relationships at the same time. Dr. Ken Ginsburg; expert for the Center for Children and Youth, Pediatrician, and Director of the Center for Parent and Teen Communication at CHOP; suggests that we engage with the concept of Shalom Bayit, peace of the home, with intentionality.

Dr. Ginsburg explains, “When the world outside is not predictable, we must work harder to create peace in the home. We must do this intentionally. We must be less reactive towards each other. Choose to laugh at things that might have otherwise triggered you. Let the little things go. This takes work, but if we learn now what to do, it’s going to make our relationships better.”

Dr. Ginsburg also believes in the importance of flexibility, especially with teens at home. He says, “Your ability to be flexible may not come naturally. But with external forces that are out of your control, you must work to be flexible—especially with your family. Be intentional in your actions and your words. Let your teens know when it feels like things are out of control, it’s important to support family members. Draw strength from each other. Be kind to them. Do your best to let go of their little irritating habits. Instead, tell them you love them. Let them know how resilient they are, even when things get tough. Model a home at peace.”

For more tips from Dr. Ginsburg about how to make your home a safe haven during COVID-19, read Five Ways to Make Your Family Home Feel Safe in Times of Crisis published by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication or read his extended blog for Psychology Today Making Your Home a Safe Haven.

The Center for Children and Youth can help you establish healthy family routines, connect with other parents, plan activities at home, and receive critical assistance when you need it most. If you need support or guidance during this time, or are facing other challenges as a parent, we are here for you. Contact us at www.parentsplaceonline.org or call 650-688-3046

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