After the start of the pandemic, many parents began working from home. For some of them, this change is now permanent. Some either stay home the whole week or only commute a couple of times. Parents being home more often has both positively and negatively affected their relationships with their children.
For example, Charlie McKay, a sophomore at Ridgewood High School, explains that her mom works both from home and in the city. She feels that having her mom at home “is better because she can drive [her] places, like to my sports practices after school.” While one might think that her mom being at home would result in Charlie’s family having more family dinners, Charlie says it is difficult to work around her sports schedule.
On the other hand, another RHS sophomore, Anna Simone, describes that her “dad works partially at home on a hybrid schedule,” allowing her family to have more dinners together. She explains that her dad being home more often “is a lot different from pre-covid,” when he was rarely home during the school week. Similar to McKay, Simone says that her parents have started driving her places more often. Additionally, she notes facing more conflict with them over school and chores.
Moreover, Sonia Berman, who is also a sophomore at RHS, elaborates on how her mom stays home for most of the week, besides when she commutes to New York City on Wednesdays and Fridays. When asked how having her parents work from home more often impacts her, Berman said: “when I was in elementary school…I almost never had dinner with my parents on a weekday because they would have dinner around when I started getting ready for bed. When they started working from home, I was able to eat most meals with them. Also, there were more chances for me to get homework help. Sometimes we would even go on family walks together around the neighborhood.” She continued, stating “I am very grateful to them for taking time out of their busy day to drive me to and from school and tennis lessons.” Finally, Sonia Berman conveyed an idea that many students can relate to: “the pandemic [was] awful, but I am glad it gave me more time to spend with my family.”
Ultimately, the post-pandemic norm of parents working from home frequently presents both negatives and positives to their relationships with their children.
Graphic: Gina Vaynshteyn