4 in 5 parents say coronavirus has brought family closer together, study says

Reuters/Kacper Pempel
Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Some four out of five parents on lockdown with their children due to the coronavirus pandemic say the crisis has brought their families closer together, according to a new study.

A survey of 2,000 British parents by MumPoll revealed that 80% of parents believe they have formed stronger bonds with their families as a result of the increased time they have been spending together during the lockdown, StudyFinds reports.

Approximately 50% of parents in the survey have played board games with their children while another 30% say they have formed book clubs and read together.

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And this study is not alone in observing the positive impact of the coronavirus on families normally separated by a faster lifestyle.

“For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come,” said Erica Pandey, a business reporter for Axios.

While the survey focused on British parents, several parents in the U.S. made similar observations to Axios.

"The strangest thing I’ve noticed is a sense of bonding," Steven Singleterry, who works in finance and lives in Brandon, Mississippi, said. "We spend much less time on electronics and more time together. I think it’s a product of schooling the kids from home as well as home becoming the new all-in-one."

While working from home with his family was difficult at first, Christopher Mims, a Wall Street Journal columnist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, told the outlet that things have gotten better over time.

"They interrupt me constantly. ... But each day it gets easier. They get wrapped up in deep imaginative play and I can ignore them for long periods," he told Axios.

In a recent interview with People magazine, Prince Harry, who recently moved to Los Angeles, California, revealed how much he has appreciated his time with his wife, Meghan, and their 11-month-old son, Archie, during the lockdown.

“There’s a hell of a lot of positives that are happening at the same time and being able to have family time — so much family time — that you almost think, ‘Do I feel guilty for having so much family time?’” he said. “You’ve got to celebrate those moments where you are just on the floor rolling around in hysterics. Inevitably, half an hour later, maybe a day later, there’s going to be something that you have to deal with and there’s no way you can run away from it.”

However, the prince was criticized for suggesting that some in the media are exaggerating the severity of the coronavirus by saying in an interview on the Declassifed podcast that things are "better than we are led to believe."

Brad Wilcox, a professor of sociology and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, told Axios that suffering forces people to become “less self-centered.”

“When society is facing a tremendous challenge or there’s a big uptick in suffering, people orient themselves in a less self-centered way and in a more family-centric way,” he said.

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