How Covid-19 Has Affected Families

Covid-19 has obviously affected families.  But in what ways?  

First of all, the massive cultural changes we have and are going through affects the emotional wiring of both kids and parents. 

We also note that many of the changes will never go away.  

Here are a few of the changes that Covid19 has had on families.  

Emotional changes.  50% of parents' emotions have had big swings.  Dads are looking for ways to rebel.  Moms are pursuing personal growth through meditation and other means.

Family traditions are being strengthened.  Not all of the changes are negative.  A positive change is parents spending more time celebrating and preserving family traditions.  Cooking as a family has increased.  Family game nights are on the rise. This is encouraging news since family game nights had been in decline before Covid. 

Media and entertainment from parent's childhoods have become relevant again.  When asked to name shows they are watching with their children, parents said shows like Scooby-Doo, Mickey Mouse and Tom and Jerry.  These are shows that were created 30-50 years ago.  Seems like parents are going back to their childhoods and taking their children with them. 

If we want to connect with families moving forward, we will need to focus on the traditions of the simpler, more innocent times that parents remember.

Covid-19 has also changed the priorities of families.

15% more are celebrating and preserving family traditions.

14% more are focused on avoiding sickness and disease.

Concerns about children's school and education has dropped by 5%.

Getting children into a good college or university has dropped by 10%.

 Looking for hope.

Parents are looking for programs and platforms that foster a sense of optimism in our uncertain world. This includes shows like Pinkalicious & Peterrfic and SpongeBob SquarePants.   All of these shows and characters are optimists (this is not an endorsement of these shows).

Content that brings hope for a brighter and more positive world are well received by parents.

New learning pathways.

An interesting change has happened in education since Covid started.  Parents educational priorities have shifted from traditional curricular learning to teaching more "life skills."  Teaching kids kindness and character are high on the list.

Parents are highly committed to raising their child to be a good person.  They are seeking role models and institutions that will partner with them in this endeavor.  While they know as parents that they are the most important teacher in their child's life, they are very receptive to content from others that reinforces character, principles and beliefs that align with what they are emphasizing.

So what does this mean for us as children's ministry leaders?

We have a tremendous opportunity to help parents create spiritual traditions with their family.  Here is an example of a tradition that made a big impact in my family.  You can see it at this link

Create some simple family games that families can play at home.  Theme the games to line up with what you are teaching the kids at church or online.

Parents are looking for hope.  Offer them the unmatched hope that only Jesus can bring to a family.  Weave hope into your lessons, messages and other content. 

Reinforce with parents what really matters.  Encourage them to make Jesus the top priority in their family.  Financial success is good.  Social success is good.  Athletic success is good.  Educational success is good.  But the greatest success in life is knowing Jesus and making Him the Lord of your life. This is such a great time to encourage parents to reflect this to their children.

Parents are committed to raising their children to have kindness and character.  Weave this into the lesson applications when possible.

Hopefully Covid-19 will eventually diminish.  And hopefully many of the values and priorities caused by Covid-19 will continue.  Parents will continue to look for relevant methods and programs that will help them in the endeavor of raising positive, successful children.