Overtime: Families are feeling the effects of constant interaction

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been home together since mid-March. Since being at home, family relationships have changed drastically through family dinners, binging movies and TV shows, and other new hobbies and activities that the average family would not have the time for during the chaos of normal life.

Jewish History teacher Rachel Bergstein is enjoying the time at home with her family. Having just come back from maternity leave, she appreciates the extra time with her kids, especially at times where she wouldn’t normally be with them, such as during meals.

“We do some things that we don’t usually do, like having breakfast together and having lunch together,” Bergstein said. “I feel like the meal times are when we have a lot of family time, which is nice.”

Junior Miriam Bisker has taken time at home to bond with her four brothers and is hoping to continue spending time with them after quarantine. Each morning before online classes start, she and her brothers go on a walk together around their neighborhood, and every Saturday night, they watch a movie.

Although the constancy of being together has caused tension in their home, Bisker feels that it has been beneficial to their relationships.

“We have been getting into a lot of fights but we can’t go anywhere so everyone kind of goes to take a breather outside or in their room. Since we know we’re stuck together, we talk it out and makeup. We have had a lot of good verbal communication,” Bisker said.

Freshman Jonah Gross and his family have been staying busy by doing different activities together. Gross has been playing catch with his brother and cooking with his mom as well as drawing. He has also started watching Netflix series with his family for the first time and feels that being at home has had a positive effect overall.

“I would say our relationships have improved a lot, especially mine with my brother,” Gross said. “We’ve spent a lot of time together and I do hope to find the time to continue to spend time together after this ends.”

High School Principal and Associate Head of School Dr. Marc Lindner is grateful to have extra time with his family. His older daughter came home from college, and they have also found themselves continuously watching TV shows together for the first time.

As much as Lindner is enjoying the time together, he wonders how the transition back to normal life will affect his family and hopes that they will prioritize spending time together after the quarantine ends, even if it is in different ways than before.

“I think one thing we’re all wondering is what this period of time will do to us as a family. It’s never going to be quite the same as this, but I do hope this leads us to do things differently later,” Lindner said.

This story was featured in The Lion’s Tale’s June 2020 magazine.