Communication and cooperation are key to promoting unity and bonding within a family dynamic for a better relationship, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This was underscored by University of Guyana (UG) Lecturer and Psychologist Wil Campbell, on a recent airing of the programme Social Cohesion in Action which focused on “Building Positive Family Relationship.”

University of Guyana (UG) Lecturer and Psychologist Wil Campbell

University of Guyana (UG) Lecturer and Psychologist Wil Campbell and moderator Natasha Singh-Lewis, Programme Coordinator within the Department of Social Cohesion

Campbell noted that the pandemic has imposed psychological tension on persons. “Control over situations has been taken from us – for example, we are now instructed to stay indoors, we are not going to work regularly as before, our plans are on hold etc.”

On top of this, adults in the home – the breadwinners – have to deal with the issue of loss of income in some cases and the fear of contracting the virus. Because everyone is now confined to the same space, Campbell posited that communication is crucial to maintaining a balance in the home.

“The issue of everyone having to be in the same space, at the same time can be claustrophobic. In some cases, literally, because persons live in small homes. So, we must communicate from the position of understanding.”

Noting that the adults in the home must be able to take into consideration what the other partner is experiencing, Campbell cited an example.

“A wife might find that her husband is a little edgy. If she can put herself in his shoes and realise his underlying issue is his inability to provide for his family as he is accustomed to, she might be in a better position to relate to him. And vice versa.”

To communicate with each other from a position of understanding, adults need to deal with the issue and not the personality, Campbell explained

Communication in the form of good teamwork/ cooperation sets the tone for positive parent-to-child communication. Therefore, parents first need to agree with how they are going to deal with the children.

There needs to be agreement among the adults in the home as to what is allowed, what is acceptable and what is not. This again requires communication. When dealing with matters that concert the children the parent must be able to put their differences aside to address these concerns.

Responding to the question about children forced to do the bulk of the house chores instead of focusing on their schoolwork, Campbell noted children should contribute to home by doing age-appropriate tasks. However, it should not take away from the opportunity to develop educationally.

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