MEETING OPTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen understands your concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, and now offers different meeting options to our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings, including initial consultations, can be handled either through the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or in person.

Lockdown: Tips for Controlling Family Friction During the Coronavirus

If you and your family are in lockdown now, you will be obliged to share limited space and accommodation, perhaps for some time. However strong your family bonds may be, relations could become strained in this challenging situation, leading to rising tensions and outbreaks of friction. Fortunately, though, there are simple ways to keep a handle on family harmony, even in lockdown conditions. These simple tips below will help you sustain a calm, happy atmosphere in your home at this time, and to diffuse any moments of friction before they can build.

Keep Everyone Busy

Give your children plenty of activities, including a few tasks, to keep them occupied. This will take their minds off frustrations or other negative feelings they may have. Helping with household tasks will give them a sense of purpose, and a little praise or appreciation from you will go a long way to making them feel happy and content. Any adults around will also benefit from the sense of being useful, so feel free to delegate a task or two all-round. Take care, however, to balance tasks with more popular activities, such as games for the children and free time for adults. Keep your children happily engaged in their playtime by offering varied activity suggestions from day to day, supervising them as necessary. Your suggestions might include art and craft projects, simple cookery, reading challenges and make-believe games. You will find plenty of specific activity ideas on the Internet.

Encourage Physical Exercise

If your lockdown allows for a daily walk, make sure your whole family takes advantage of this opportunity, you included. The change of scene will be rejuvenating and spirit-lifting, while the exercise will burn off excess energy and ease tensions. You will all return feeling calmer and happier for the leg-stretch, especially if you have fitted in a ball game or other shared activity along the way. On wet days, keep up the exercise habit indoors, with gymnastic challenges, workouts or dancing, or just put on your raincoats, grab an umbrella or two, and step out as usual.

Manage Space and Noise

Make the most of your space to maximize comfortable living within it. The more free space available, the more airy and relaxed your home will feel. With ample space to move around, you can also keep your distance from each other if relations become strained. To this end, it's worth keeping floors and surfaces as clear as possible, moving furniture and accessories to one side as necessary. Encourage everyone to support this plan by keeping their toys and materials in one place and clearing items away after use. Keeping noise levels down will also help control family tension, so establish agreed times and volume limits for music-making and other noisy pastimes.

Reach Out

Tolerance and understanding are key to getting through a shared challenge like yours, so try to be open-minded and sympathetic to all sides when disputes arise. Being in lockdown is an unnatural and frustrating situation for you all, and each member of your household is likely to suffer some negative reactions over time. They may feel claustrophobic, restless or anxious, for instance, and become irritated by each other's little habits and foibles. Negative feelings like these can easily lead to erratic or extreme behavior, but a listening ear can make all the difference, diffusing stress in moments. Listen out for early warning signs, so you can step in before the problem escalates. Reach out to everyone affected and help them work out a shared solution. Open, level-headed discussion will calm emotions and restore your precious family harmony.

Control Your Own Stress Levels

You are as susceptible as the next person to the strains and stresses of lockdown, so it is important to take care of your own mental well-being. Follow the recommended steps here, along with your family, such as taking exercise and sharing concerns openly. Try to find time and space to be alone for a little time each day, or when emotions start rising. Stand at an open window and draw deep breaths or play your favorite music and sing or dance to it. You may have other great ways to chill out, too. By staying calm and positive yourself, you will inspire everyone else to do the same.

Evoke a Positive Ethos Through Thoughtful Touches

Do your best to keep your home fresh and tidy. This will generate a positive, reassuring atmosphere, helping your family to stay calm and content. Open windows and draw back drapes each day, to fill the rooms with invigorating fresh air and daylight. Then, at nightfall, use soft lighting and perhaps some calming background music, for a relaxing, evening ambience. You can add to this supportive atmosphere by providing a loose daily structure, with set times for meals and other regular events. You may think of other ways to sustain that vital, upbeat ethos in your home.

Factor in Some Family Fun

There is nothing like simple, shared fun to sustain household harmony, so make time for a family game or activity at some point every day. Singsongs, softball challenges and acting games like "Charades" are all great for generating a feeling of togetherness. Simple board and card games around a table will also serve well, as will the simple act of gathering together to watch a movie or share a storybook. You will find plenty more ideas online for family fun at home.

With these simple strategies, you can steer your family smoothly and harmoniously through the lockdown, whatever challenges it may bring. In fact, chances are the precious bonds between you all will grow even stronger through this rare period at home together. If any questions about family law, call the Law Offices of Peter van Aulen at 201-845-7400 for consultation.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances