By Jane Kingsu Cheng

More than two months in quarantine, how has life been for you and your family at home? While most parents are struggling to make sure they have enough savings to last them a few months (or even until the next year), you also have to remain emotionally and mentally strong for your brood.

“Boredom and frustration can easily strike a family in these times, so parents must become creative to generate an atmosphere of hope,” says Rudin Gerardo Gonzales, executive director of One Algon Place Foundation, Inc., a mental health facility accredited by the Department of Health. One of the many services it is known for is therapy for couple and family relationships.

“Anxiety in this pandemic should be approached with great care by making the family bond stronger, with prayer and discernment,” adds Czel Casas Gonzales, who is Rudin’s wife and also the program director. It is imperative that parents hold the fort by maintaining a happy atmosphere at home. This continuous effort should be considered one of the many top priorities, as everyone will be able to reap its benefits now and in the long run. “Be creative on lockdown. It’s a time for family bonding if you come up with fun activities,” says Czel.

Here are some tips on what you can do together.

Canva - Kid Washing the Dishes

1.   Keep the house clean with daily chores.

Now is the time to teach the children life skills, but why not take it up a notch by joining them as they keep the house tidy with chores such as washing the dishes and watering the plants? Plan your chores together, and have the kids partake in plotting out assignments, taking turns with chores, and learning how to clean the house together as a family.

2. Have fun with games.

There’s so many to choose from. Introduce the kids to old school Pinoy games such as bunot, tumbang preso, Chinese garter, and luksong bata. Reliving simple childhood games will bring out the inner child in you, even passing on tactics to your children. It’s also a good idea to join them in online games via app download or game consoles. Now, it’s their turn to teach us some tricks.

Canva - Family Watching Movie on the Laptop

3. Unwind and watch movies.

With on-demand movies available with just one swipe, family members can watch whatever whenever they want. This setup will only alienate everyone from each other. Schedule a family movie night on the weekends. Not only does it give the family something to look forward to, it also gives an opportunity for you to be together for about two hours or more.

4. Stay healthy and get active.

Being physically active releases endorphins, resulting in an energy boost and all-over happy vibe. Hit two birds with one stone by exercising together. There are so many online family workout videos to choose from. Kids will have tons of fun with yoga in Pokemon and Minecraft themes. You can even choose a sport that you can play together, within reasonably safe premises.

5. Calm down with art therapy.

This doesn’t have to be grandiose. Art comes in many forms. It can be as simple as belting tunes via karaoke nights, coloring with Manila Bulletin’s printable coloring book, cooking and baking in the kitchen, and even renovating rooms by painting the walls together to give it a new look. The possibilities are limitless.

A happy home makes going through a crisis bearable. These months cooped up in the four corners of the house are crucial in shaping who our children will grow up to be in the future. What they choose to remember from these trying times will forever be in their core memories. As parents, we should continue to add the best ones to their memory banks, so that, in the future, when anxiety attacks creep in, your children will have wonderful childhood memories to support them through the hardest of trials. And so will you.

Source: Manila Bulletin (