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4 Tips for Keeping Your Family Intact During the Coronavirus

If you are a regular reader of the blog for Law Office of Bryan Fagan, then you know that we tend to play the hits. What I mean by that, is we understand that we are here to provide you with unique and hopefully somewhat entertaining content about the world of Texas family law. We're not here to pontific eight or two provide in depth opinions about social events or things of that nature. We all know there are a number of sources for that type of information available on the Internet right now. All you need to do is search for a topic and you will find hundreds of news articles or blog posts about each of them. One thing that we do not suffer from in this day and age is a lack of information. 

With that said, I did want to take a break from our usual assortment of informational blog posts about family law in Texas in order to discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart and I'm sure many of yours as well. That topic would be how to keep your family saying, intact and content during the coronavirus pandemic. Even if the virus says not directly impacted you or your family in terms of it getting anyone ill it is very likely that some aspect of the virus and the pandemic has impacted your family. It could be that someone lost their job due to the economic shutdown. It could be that the kids school year is completely up in the air for the spring semester due to the virus. There are a number of ways that someone could be impacted by this pandemic even if nobody were to get sick. 

The closest thing that I think many of us can compare this pandemic two would be hurricane Harvey and the devastation that our area saw as a result of that storm. If we're talking about impacts, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan certainly was impacted by that event. I'm sure like many of you reading this blog post, our office was flooded which necessitated a move to our current location. It was extremely difficult to go through the fear over losing the office, the physical difficulties associated with having to make sure client information was kept safe and secure and then physically moving offices in the aftermath of the storm. It is surely something that no one in our city once to relive. 

If we are looking for Silver Linings of this storm, I suppose those Silver Linings would come in the form of lessons that can be learned about how to deal with adversity and how to make lemonade out of lemons. Bear in mind that character and resiliency can be developed during difficult times and one can make the argument that it is very difficult to develop those characteristics unless you have to face difficult circumstances. If all we face for good times, then our character and ability to battle against the elements would never be tested. That may leave our country a little soft around the middle, if you know what I mean. 

That is how I am going to approach the remainder of this pandemic for as long as it lasts. Not that you asked for a window into my household, but my family is going to make the best of it as we have been since the beginning. Yes, plants change in circumstances develop that my family has little control over, just like yours. However, that's not to say that we can't get something out of this pandemic that will be beneficial for us in the long run. Like Harvey, this pandemic could prove to be a good thing in some ways for our family and the community that we are all a part of.

Continue to work on building and maintaining strong relationships

the most basic thing that you and your family can do, in terms of your behavior, in order to remain intact during this time would be to communicate with one another. Of all the challenges that we face as a society I think loneliness in isolation is foremost among them. Many news articles have been printed over the past nine months talking about things called deaths due to despair or deaths by despair. These are deaths caused, not by the virus or illness related to the virus, but by social distancing taken to the extreme and people feeling like they have no opportunity to build relationships or connect with people during this time. 

As a result, people are isolating themselves to an extent where their health deteriorates as a result of not having person to person contact. Our bodies in our minds cannot fully grasp that we're in a pandemic even if we see news headlines and reports on the television about the pandemic on a daily or even hourly basis. We may intellectually grasp that we're in a pandemic, but our bodies cannot feel that we are and we will still crave the interpersonal relationships and interactions that we have become accustomed to. Certainly, removing those relationships and interactions in favor of extreme and militant social distancing can be quite difficult. 

This situation does not just impact older people are those who live alone. Rather, even people who live in households with multiple persons can feel the brunt of these social distancing edicts. For instance, if you are interested you can look up statistics on school age children in their feelings and emotions regarding the pandemic. You will find that the unfortunate truth is many children have considered harming themselves due to loss of relationships over the pandemic and the closing of schools in the spring and fall semesters this year. The mental health of our children, especially teenagers, is directly tied to maintaining strong relationships with their peer groups. 

When you suddenly take a very social people, as we are, and remove the ability to interact with one another you have a potential recipe for disaster. Rather than put these relationships on the back burners you should do what you can 2 allow these relationships too continue to produce good fruit in your life. That may mean being a little bit creative during this time, but it is still possible to maintain relationships right now. Small group get togethers, regular phone calls, lunches and dinners outdoors or whatever you feel is appropriate for you and your social group works better than maintaining no contact during this time. 

Talk with your kids about the pandemic 

there is a fine line between acting as if nothing is going on in relation to the pandemic and then over sharing an burdening your children with news that is negative. However, I would recommend that you take the time to talk to your children at an age appropriate level about the ongoing pandemic and what it means for their lives. This means that you do not have to share, necessarily, your long-term projections or concerns about your own life but remember to focus the discussion on your children. Remember, children are narcissists. This isn't a knock against children, it's just the way kids are. They focused almost exclusively on how things impact them and don't really have the ability to think about other people. That maturity will come but for now talk to your kids directly about the pandemic and what it may mean for them. 

Next, allow your kids to ask questions if they have any and then be patient with your responses. Communication is a two-way street. You need to be a good communicator of ideas in reassurances but also a good listener. If your children have questions about the pandemic, then you are in the best position to answer those questions. As with anything like this if your children do not obtain solid, trustworthy information from you then they will go to another source ticket that information. Take this responsibility seriously and talk to your kids about their concerns and answer questions as best you can. You may find that this is beneficial for you as well. 

Co-parent to the best of your ability 

For those of you reading this blog post who have gone through family law cases previously then you are very familiar with the term co-parent. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, co-parenting refers to the relationship that you as a parent have with a former spouse or former partner after a family law case has completed. Co-parenting is one of the most difficult circumstances are person can find themselves in due to the need to put your ego aside and put the interest every children before anything else. This may sound reasonable based on how much you love your kids, but in reality, it can be hard when it can feel like an ex-spouse or ex-partner is getting the better of you in certain circumstances. 

If you find yourself in a co-parenting situation would recommend that you work closely with him or her during this time to coordinate your efforts in maintaining family unity. Talk with him or her about what your kids are going through, how school is going and what changes are ongoing for activities that your children are involved in. Essentially, these are activities that you should be doing with your co-parent on a regular basis anyways and will do a lot of good for your family as we head into 2021 and a hopeful end date of the pandemic. 

This may mean stepping out of your comfort zone and communicating with your co-parent in a way that you have not ever done before. For instance, for years you and your co-parent may have best communicated via email or text messaging. This could be due to your ongoing problems and resentment after a divorce or child custody case. However, sometimes communication is done more effectively when it is face to face or even over the telephone. Keep in mind that what you are doing is for your children and not for yourself. Take a step back and assess the situation for what it is. If you think that information can be better conveyed over the phone or face to face, then you should make every effort to do so. 

Stay positive input love first 

The title to this last section of today's blog post may sound a little cheesy cute but I think it is important. Being positive does not mean disregarding material facts in ignoring circumstances that can harm your family. I think a lot of us have fallen into the trap of believing that if we see the positive and are optimistic about certain circumstances that we're not taking the pandemic seriously. I think that's foolish and potentially harmful. It is important to be aware of our circumstances so that we can keep our family safe, but it is important for our long-term health and development to be positive and seek good where we can find it.

Children often learn more from us by the way we act then by what we tell them. Be careful of how you absorb media, talk to others about the pandemic and and any subject for that matter, and interact with their other parent. Your children will subconsciously take in your actions and learn to act by how you do. This can be a negative for them or positive for them. The good part is that while you don't have any control over the overall path of this virus, you do have direct control over how you respond to it in terms of your actions and words. Choose to be positive and choose to be a force for good in your child's life. That will go a long way towards helping to keep your family intact during this time. 

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

if you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone and via video. Thank you for joining us today on our blog and we hope you will spend some time with us tomorrow as we continue to share relevant and important information about the world of Texas family law. 


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