How To Respond When Your Loved Ones Refuse To Practice Social Distancing

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash


With the coronavirus causing havoc in America, many moms are taking necessary precautions and practicing non-negotiable social distancing protocols in their homes to keep their family safe.

Cancelled playdates.  No physical interactions with those who live outside the home. Fierce cleaning routines.

But then there’s grandma… who thinks all of this is “ridiculous” and is out and about and insistent she has the right to see her grandkids whenever she wants.

So what do you do if she refuses to practice social distancing?

Here are a few ways to navigate this tricky situation.


Set A Boundary

Sometimes, people act in ways that are not in their best interest.

Perhaps your mom doesn’t understand the seriousness of COVID-19.

Or maybe she’s having a difficult time accepting this new reality and is in denial.

She might find it perfectly acceptable to go over to her friend’s house to play cards or Bingo – interacting with others – who are also not following social distancing protocols.

Whatever her reasoning – you must act in the best interest of your family and refuse to let the lack of prudence in others harm your household.

After all, the last thing you want is a wayward sister or relative bringing COVID-19 into your home.

If they ask to come over and see the kids – kindly remind them your family is practicing social distancing and is therefore choosing not to interact with those outside of the immediate household.

Should your relative become upset and accuse you of being cruel, remind them it is for their own protection too.


Inform Them

Sometimes, people assume they are healthy – so they don’t need to practice social distancing.

This is the perfect time to remind them – that social distancing isn’t about them.

Perhaps one of your children has a compromised immune system. Or maybe your husband has weak lungs.

Even if your family is considered “low-risk”, no one knows who is carrying the disease, and what catching it can actually do to the body.

Some studies reveal it can severely damage lungs.

You don’t need to bombard their inbox with daily stories, but perhaps directing them to a few reputable sources could be helpful.

If they still refuse to listen, at least you’ve done your part.

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Get Creative

Think of ways you can see each other while still maintaining social distance protocols.

Some people are choosing to communicate through glass doors.

Others are having daily video chats, or eating “virtual” meals together via Zoom or Facebook.

One family got even more creative and had the kids ride their own bikes on their grandparents’ street, while their grandparents looked on safely from their porch.

I know it seems unnatural – but hugs and kisses are not okay during this time!

Everyone wants this whole thing to be over, and the quicker folks stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, the sooner everyone can get back to living normal lives.

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