DEAR HARRIETTE: I have three grown children, and we have all been living together again since the government issued a stay-at-home order. In some ways, it has been nice having them around. We are getting to talk about all kinds of things that didn’t ever come up on our short check-in phone calls before. On the other hand, it has been tough with all of the personalities. My husband and I don’t get much quiet time like we used to enjoy since the kids moved out. I feel like we need to enforce a few more house rules so that we don’t end up driving one another crazy. Do you have any ideas? We live in a small house, so it is hard for us to be completely separated. -- Family Time
DEAR FAMILY TIME: Draw upon your children’s creativity. Have a family meeting that you call a brainstorming session. Tell your family how grateful you are that you are together and healthy. Point out what you are enjoying about being in their company. Then state that you believe that it is also hard at times because it can feel like too much togetherness. Tell them you want to come up with some ideas that allow you to each have a bit more space and privacy. Ask them if they can think of any ideas.
Some suggestions include: scheduling bathroom time so that each person can enjoy the bathroom alone; rotating meal preparation and cleanup; observing quiet time with no audible TV or music (you can use headphones); reserving an area for alone time, and scheduling it for each person.