How to avoid household conflict when staying at home during COVID 19

The outbreak of the Corona Virus has forced many countries into some form of a lockdown. Many countries including the UK have introduced lockdown measures and provided social distancing guidelines to avoid the spread of this deadly virus. As a result, people have been encouraged and enforced to stay at home until a solution to the virus has been established.

Your family members are probably the most important people to you in your life and are probably the people you love and care for the most. However, living with your family members in a confined space for 24 hours a day can be stressful and could lead to household conflict especially where the virus is carrying financial pressures. Follow the below tips on how to avoid family and household conflict when staying in during this global outbreak.

Be patient and avoid criticism of other family and household members

Family and household members are often not used to being stuck in the same confined space for large periods of time. In a normal world each family member will be working outside of the home or in education and will be carrying out other activities such as extracurricular activities, sporting hobbies, socialising with friends or going to the gym. The corona virus has changed the landscape of how people are living. Stringent lockdowns by the government mean that people are only allowed outside of the house to buy food or for emergency and essential purposes only.

As a result, family members are all tied down to a confined space. This could often lead to conflicts and altercations. In order to avoid this, you must ensure you are patient and avoid criticism. You may notice certain behaviours whilst staying at home about your partner or other family members which have gone unnoticed for many years. In order to avoid conflict, you must avoid criticising them and instead pick a calm time to speak to them and address any issues you have. Family members like yourself will be facing stress and anxiety about working from home and the financial implications the virus may bring. You must ensure you remain patient at all times to avoid unnecessary and unwanted conflict. If you feel the situation or a conversation is becoming heated, walk into another room or request time and space from your family members.

Communicate problem when they arise from the outset

People underestimate the power of effective communication. Conflict will usually arise in many households who are facing the lockdown and are adhering to the social distancing measures put in place by the government. In order to avoid conflict, family members must ensure they communicate effectively with each other. Early and direct communication could possibly be one of the best ways to ensure that minor issues and arguments do not result into large conflicts which could end up tearing the family. Quite often constant arguments and conflicts between a couple could be the starting point for bigger arguments and could be cause for divorce or separation.

Our family lawyers recommend that if you notice any habits or conversations which have the potential to cause an argument or conflict you should amicably make the other family member aware. Although these conversations may not seem appropriate and easy they will benefit the family in the long run. By failing to communicate any problems or issues you risk blowing up at a later time which can cause more harm than discussing the problems from the outset. Our family lawyers in York have also noted that arguments between a couple are one of the most common reasons for a divorce.

Set a schedule for shared living space and common areas

Living with other family members in a household can be problematic where you know you will not be leaving the home for any excuse. Sharing a household for prolonged times with other family and household members could cause you to feel suffocated and cramped. It is ideal to create a schedule amongst family members.  People will often want to ensure they have their own time and space to carry out their activities or relax in the living room. However, with all family members at home how does one ensure they can make use of the common areas?

It is highly recommended that all family members sit down together to create a schedule. Preferably after a meal or when you are all together you should discuss how to make best use of areas such as the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom and other shared spaces such as the front and back gardens. Having a schedule will reduce the risk of any conflict. Each household member will be aware of what times they will have access to the common spaces and areas which will reduce the risk of arguments. Each family member will need to be open and honest and ensure they follow the schedule.

Ensure you have some time away from each other to reduce the possibility of conflict

Although you are confined to one house during this outbreak, one of the best solutions to avoid conflict is to ensure you have some time away from each other. This may appear difficult given that you are living with other family members, however it is not impossible. Where possible try and remain in different rooms. You could carry out activities which you enjoy or have missed whilst keeping a distance form your family members to avoid conflicts.

You could catch up on movies or tv shows that you have missed at the comfortable for your own room rather than staying in the living room for large periods of time. With the current technology movies, books and tv shows can be accessed through your mobile phones or laptops. This effectively means you do not have to share the same room and space with family members for prolonged periods which can minimise the risk of any conflicts. Furthermore, the government guidance has authorised you to leave your home for exercise once a day. This could be the perfect opportunity to get some time alone without having to worry about the other household members. Remember although you are staying in one household you can avoid conflicts by maintaining your personal space.

Be considerate about the feelings of other household members

This outbreak has had many impacts on individuals such as loving their friends and loved ones as well as causing financial hardships. During this global crisis you should be considerate towards the feelings, fears and worries of those around you. Your family members may not be able to discuss certain matters with you but may be undergoing feelings such as being overwhelmed, disappointed, fearful and worried. Before arguing or causing a conflict you should think about each other’s feelings and take each other seriously. The purpose of family members is to support each other during difficult times. Providing emotional support as well as practical support can assist with avoiding conflicts and ensuring the time you are spending together is capable of making positive memories.

Look after yourself and your health

Remaining healthy during difficult times can assist with maintaining positive energies and moods. This could in return avoid you being the cause of any family conflicts. You should ensure you look after yourself by eating well. Sleeping well and exercising. You should ensure you help your immune system by living a healthy lifestyle and avoid feeling ill. Where you do suffer from symptoms of the virus isolate yourself from other family members to ensure they remain safe. By looking after your self and your health you could keep a control over any emotional or negative feelings which could lead to conflicts.

Contact us today for more information on any family law matter

Our family lawyers specialise in all aspect of divorce and financial settlement as well as child law matters. If you are concerned about family disputes please contact us today on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options or let us call you back.  

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Kabir Family Law Fulham
Chester House
1st and 3rd Floors
81 - 83 Fulham High Street
Fulham
London
SW63JA

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20-30a Abington Street
Northampton
NN1 2JA

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Kabir Family Law Oxford

1 & 3 Kings Meadow
Oxford
OX2 0DP

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Clavering House
Clavering Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE1 3NG

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Kabir Family Law London
16 High Holborn
Holborn
London
WC1V6BX

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Tower Court
3 Oakdale Road
North Yorkshire
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YO30 4XL

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