• Afiya Najla

COVID-19 Outbreak: How It Is Affecting Families?

Source: Unsplash

The COVID-19 virus continues to be the most concern for everyone in the world. Inevitably, increasing anxiety about daily problems is the disquietude of each individual. Many families witnessed drastic changes in their family dynamics during the pandemic (Dillon et. al, 2020). Unfortunate situations that could not be thought of before, appear to surface such as social difficulties, mental and physical health decreasing, and economic hardship. Pressure from both the internal and external environments can be a stressor that can hinder the functioning of the family. When we tend to say "my family, my house" turns into something like "my family, my hell". Dillon also found that some families have become more vulnerable than others due to their inability to cope with the problems that occurred before and during the pandemic. There are two main life aspects that become the issues of families during the outbreak.

The relationship between children and parents is one of two problems that have been affected during the pandemic. COVID-19 outbreak turns everyone’s routine tedious and it leads to significant difficulties for families especially during the quarantine period, such as changes in parenting styles, financial pressures, and child rebellion. Parents who were initially relaxed about their children's "going out" rules began to change and become authoritarian parents with regulations adapted to the current situation. Children on the other hand feel pressured by the new family rules and tend to rebel by staying out for a long time without possibly disobeying the previously agreed rules. Changes in parenting styles by implementing the demands of rules that must be obeyed can lead to increased negativity and weaken the relationship between parents and children.

The second issue is a chaotic routine. According to Dillon, there are three things that can increase the attachment of a family, which are routines, rituals, and rules. Routines emphasize the pragmatic and utilitarian functions such as preparing every morning to go to work or school. Meanwhile, rituals are symbolic and usually related to emotions such as going home once a year to grandmother's place in the village while rules become benchmarks for daily behavior. However, there was a dramatic change in the routine of family life during the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing is one of the factors that cause the chaotic routine of each family member. Children who used to learn at school and parents who used to work at their office moved all their usual activities to home. The basic mechanism of daily life has been seriously disrupted and this has become a problem not only in the family but the entire community.

The effects received during the COVID-19 outbreak are arguably lopsided because the negative impacts are more likely to be felt rather than the benefits that can be taken. So how to deal with the negative impact of this pandemic? The first one is to build and maintain family relationships so that each family member is able to compensate and strengthen one another in difficult situations. Second, the family must be able to optimize the belief system that has been the foundation of the family so when they face a problem they will not blame each other (Prime, 2020).


Speaking Plainly:

  • Many families witnessed drastic changes in their family dynamics during COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Parents-children relationships and changing routines are the two main problems that families face in pandemic.

  • The effects of COVID-19 outbreak are more likely to be lopsided since there are a lot more negative sides rather than the positive ones.

  • Optimizing a family’s belief system and building and maintaining family relationships are the two ways to deal with negative impacts during the pandemic.