Pattie’s Parenting Tips-Memorializing the 2020 Global Pandemic as a Family… Come Again?

Memorial Day weekend will look different this year. Hunkering down as a family can be a good thing. Research shows that spending meaningful and fun time together as a family has a variety of benefits. One benefit is better behavior. In fact, research shows that when teens spend more time with their parents, they are less likely to skip school or get in trouble with the law. Another benefit, family fun can be an effective way to both cope with and protect against stress’s negative health impacts. Finally, research supports the fact that spending leisurely time together as a family improves family bonding and satisfaction. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time for us to bond with our family by documenting our feelings about the pandemic.

Try this memorable family activity: The COVID Time Capsule

Get paper and markers out and pose these two questions to everyone in the family. 1.) What is something that is really good about this time at home? 2.) What is something that is not so great about this time at home? If your children are younger, you can write out their answers for them. Ask the older kids to be as creative and honest as they can be and reassure them that no one will look at what they write. Don’t forget to have all the grown-ups in the family document their feelings too. Next, seal the notes in a sealable plastic bag, an old water bottle, or any waterproof container you may have. Then, as a family bury the notes inside the airtight container somewhere in your yard. Maybe next to a plant or tree you planted to mark this time of COVID. Not only will this activity be fun right now but imagine the experience your family will have in 10 years when you dig up the notes and reminisce about the pandemic of 2020.

All the Best,
Patricia Carroll | UW-Madison, Division of Extension
Associate Professor, Dept of Family Development
Human Development & Relationships Educator, Dodge County
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