People always assume that the normal is here to stay. At least this is what they were thinking about when the COVID-19 crisis struck. Humans are wired to believe those good things are here to stay, but when nature stares them in the eye, things can take a drastic change in a matter of seconds.
This is exactly what happened when there was an outbreak of a novel virus, that quickly escalated to become a global pandemic- COVID-19. Since the virus spread from human contact, governments all around the world made an effort to curtail its outbreak in their respective countries. For this, they had to resort to a complete lockdown of activity, which rendered people in their homes.
Special needs families struggle with parenting challenges at the best of times. However while economic activity, social gatherings, education, and business suffered the most at the behest of a quarantine, there was still a silver lining for families. COVID-19 resulted in a much-needed opportunity for families to bond together again. In the past few years, family dynamics around the world have changed under the influence of competition, education, and a modern outlook towards life.
We might feel as if we are more connected than ever, owing to revolutionary social media networks, and super-fast internet that enables constant communication, but the reality states quite the contrary. According to social scientists, the concept of a nuclear family- one that is tightly bonded together- has become much weaker after the rampant spread of globalization.
The Opportunity to Bond With Special Needs Children
Self-isolation presented a wide range of opportunities for families to bond together. While previously, every member thought that family is important to them, the buzz of professional life or education steered them away from bonding. During the course of quarantine, this setting changed drastically.
Since workers were asked to embrace ‘’work from home,’’ and all socially entertaining activities such as gatherings, restaurants, concerts, and performances ceased to exist, people resorted to more humble means of entertainment. These included going to long walks together with the family, cooking and sharing meals together, and watching TV shows and movies with the family.
The opportunity for special needs families to bond together also gave parents the avenue to focus on their children. Previously due to conflicting work schedules, many parents could only spend time with their kids in the night before sleep time, or in the morning before going to work. For example, parents that have autistic children were able to realize that they had to invest more time and resources in their children. Many started accessing autism resources, so that they could analyze the situation, and give their children a conducive environment at home- one that fosters their mental wellbeing and communication ability.
While bonding with the family is commendable for the wellbeing of all stakeholders involved, it is still essential to stay compassionate and give each other their due private space. For instance, with the advent of online schooling, children of the house demand that they have a dedicated space to study and learn.
Furthermore, since the family was together for a long period of time during the quarantine period, the instances of family feuds also rose up. Sociologists recommend that to maintain sanity, it is instrumental to maintain contact with friends outside of the family. This not only gives people a fresh social perspective but also gives them the chance to see whether their loved ones around the city are doing fine.