Arguments, conflict and family tension during coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you're worried about coping with family tensions or managing arguments, we've got tips and advice for you.

Your roles at home, work and in your community may have changed a lot during lockdown because of coronavirus (COVID-19). And you may be using your home and other spaces in different ways than you're used to. This can be challenging so it's important to make time to talk about what would work best for your family and check how everyone is feeling.

Conflict, stress and spending more time with another can cause arguments. And it can be difficult to keep children shielded from adult arguments when everyone is together most of the day. When children see us communicating well and staying calm, it can help them cope with big emotions. Arguments can be small or big – and some can be very serious. If you're worried about domestic abuse, we have advice and support for you.

If you feel yourself getting irritated or annoyed with your family and children, don't be too hard on yourself. This is a challenging time for lots of people and there are things you can do to help. Try counting to 10 and taking some deep breaths before reacting. You can also try:

  • talking about routines, chores, work, learning and how you can all share the spaces in your home
  • planning, if possible, for children and adults to spend time together one on one. And, plan some time apart, even if it's just time alone with headphones, in a different room or a walk by yourself. Take time to gather your thoughts and relax. We have advice if you're not sure if your child is old enough to stay home alone.
  • being kind to yourself and each other, thanking each other for the small things like keeping a room tidy, saying "good morning" or playing quietly
  • talking about your frustrations with friends and family. This can also help with feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • planning distractions outside of work and learning time to give different things to focus on. There might be some family projects you can do together, like looking at old photographs or growing seeds from vegetables and fruits you've eaten
  • taking time to think about things you would like to do once lockdown ends.

We're working hard to make sure we're still here for children. Will you be there too?