Pandemic Family Traditions: What to Change and What to Keep [Survey]

Family bonding

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted the way family members interact with one another. Last year saw many parents learning how to cope with working from home while their kids learned remotely in the next room. Over the past 15 months, many families spent more time together than they were previously used to – and in doing so, many of their habits and activities changed. Families developed new traditions to get themselves through a strange and disorienting time.

However, now that the pandemic is easing its hold on American society, the question becomes: Will these pandemic traditions stick? And which traditions are worth holding onto?

We surveyed 1,006 parents about their family experiences during the pandemic to shed light on these new traditions and how they’ve impacted family dynamics. In doing so, we gained some surprising insights into the way the pandemic has affected families and how parents and children relate to each other.


  • 93% of parents felt more connected to their kids due to their new pandemic-era traditions.
  • Parents reported that family walks, family dinners, and sharing stories and daily experiences were the traditions that most improved family relationships during the pandemic.
  • 65% of fathers reported better relationships with their children, compared to 60% of mothers.
  • Parents with children aged 4 years old and younger were the most likely to admit they would not miss having extra time with their children, with more than one-fifth reporting as much.
Family traditions landscape infographic
New pandemic family traditions infographic
Covid Impact on Family Traditions Infographic
Parent Child Relationships Infographic
New Normal Family Traditions Infographic

Lessons to Learn

The pandemic has transformed almost all aspects of American life, but its impact has been felt perhaps the most strongly within the family unit. As parents and children sheltered in place, they experienced both the positive and negative aspects of more time together. Stress levels were elevated, but family members also fostered closer, more positive relationships. As the pandemic ends, it’s intriguing to consider what important lessons we can take from quarantine back into our normal everyday life by continuing – or discontinuing – the traditions formed amid the pandemic.

Building on Family Bonds

Are you looking for a way to build and maintain positive family interactions as we move out of pandemic mode? One of the best ways for families to bond is through quality time and shared experiences. Board games and word puzzles can provide fun for the whole family, and a game of Scrabble or a group effort to complete a crossword can be bonding and satisfying. If you find yourself in need of assistance while settling into game night with the family, head over to Word Finder, where you can unscramble new words, learn new definitions, and settle any debates about accuracy.

Methodology and Limitations

We surveyed 1,006 parents about family life during and after the pandemic where respondents were presented with a series of questions, including attention-check and disqualification questions. Respondents were 48.7% women and 51.1% men. Two respondents were nonbinary. The average age of respondents was 38.5.

Data on household experiences as a result of the pandemic; new activities or traditions families started during the pandemic; and activities or traditions parents believed led to stronger relationships among their family were gathered using check-all-that-apply questions. Therefore, percentages won’t add to 100.

The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration.

Fair Use Statement

Did your family start any of the new pandemic-era traditions listed here? Feel free to use and share this article for all noncommercial purposes, but please remember to link back to our study to give credit to our contributors. Thank you.