'We're all in this together': Here's how family life and values have changed in SA thanks to Covid-19

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"Connection time is important". (Gilaxia/Getty-Images)
"Connection time is important". (Gilaxia/Getty-Images)

From having less money to spend on luxury items, to being more health and relationship orientated, it seems the Covid-19 pandemic has changed much more than just our sneezing and handwashing etiquette. 

This according to a recent consumer survey conducted by parenting community, The Village, behavioural and assessment specialists, Psychology at Work, and customer experience company, nlighten

Their small study has revealed a few interesting things about how South African family life and values have changed thanks to Covid-19 and the lockdown. 

Survival mode 

Given the nearly 3 million job losses that occurred earlier this year, it’s no surprise that parents reported that, as far as spending goes, they're in survival mode, with nearly 50% saying they have no extra money for luxuries. 

And for the most part, the kids aren’t complaining. 

"In all these long, hard, six months, very few of the 37 000 parents on The Village mentioned a child complaining about not having luxuries," The Village founder Vanessa Raphaely told Parent24

Respondents also noted that price, convenience, and a preference for supporting small businesses are now major motivating factors when spending. 

A greater sense of empathy and community 

The minority still able to splurge on non-essential items said that they'd rather spend their extra cash on health and wellness items for their loved ones. 

Quality time and connection with family and a greater sense of empathy and community were also counted among what parents say they value now more than they did before. 

Behavioural specialist and founder of Psychology at Work Justine Jackson-Fraser says that they may not know it, but by prioritising family time, parents were decreasing their children’s anxiety, and advised increasing "interaction, affection and time in nature".

'Connection time is important'  

"I’d say lots of processing and discussions where all emotions are accepted can certainly assist. I also think connection time is important, and limiting screens and exposure to fear-based media". 

On a personal note, Jackson-Fraser shares that when the lockdown first began, Covid-anxiety impacted her family's sleep patterns, and her children expressed "a clear need for more affection and conversations around feelings".

She advises that parents shouldn't be surprised to find their older kids more temperamental than usual and "less keen on adventure and leaving the safety of home".

From her Village, Raphaely says parents have been adamant in advising that children be included in "the reality of the family’s situation". 

"Show them budgets and share the plans and strategies that the whole family is going to have to follow to get through this awful patch. It seems, as far as The Village is concerned, we are truly 'all in this together'". 

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