Jennifer Lopez Says the Pandemic Brought Her Family Together 'In a Different Way Than Before'

Like many parents, J. Lo was worried about her kids having too much screen time during the pandemic. She found ways to keep them active and bonded like never before, through a dance challenge that gives back to charity. Win and win.

Jennifer Lopez and her kids.
Photo: General Mills

Jennifer Lopez is a mom who loves to move and has a career that proves that. It’s only natural for her to want to get her two kids moving, too. But like many parents during the coronavirus pandemic, she's worried her 12-year-old twins, Emme and Max, aren't as active as they should be.

“I know during this time other parents are just as concerned as I am that the kids aren’t moving as much. We’re spending too much time in front of screens and playing video games,” says Lopez. “And the truth is that active kids are strong kids.”

That’s why joining forces with yogurt company Yoplait for a family dance challenge was a no-brainer for her. To get everyone moving, Lopez and her kids are asking other families to take part in the “Yoplaitime Challenge.” How it works? Grab your family and dance to “Pa Ti,” Lopez’s new song with Latin superstar Maluma, who also appears in her upcoming movie Marry Me, coming out in February 2021. The challenge will benefit Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief program in the U.S., as millions of Americans are struggling to afford food during the pandemic.

“I love doing things that organically work with who I am and what I believe,” says Lopez. “And the truth is during this quarantine, the thing I think that has kept us close and sane has been the activities we did together as a family.”

While staying home, Lopez really took advantage of family time and tried to keep the kids as engaged as she could. The family had batting practice in the backyard—that makes sense when your fiancé is Alex Rodriguez, former New York Yankees superstar. They also painted and performed TikToks together.

Another plus? The pandemic allowed the family to bond on a deeper level. The busy mom was able to share many more family dinners with her kids, Rodriguez, and his daughters, Natasha, 15, and Ella, 12. “Alex and I have the types of the careers, and have since we were very young, that we travel so much, and having that dinner together every night, all the conversations that we had, all the different moments we had for months and months straight, it was so beautiful and really brought us together in a different way than we were before.”

The time together was more important than ever as her family also coped with their fear, which studies show was a common response to the unpredictability of the virus. “We were all kind of like scared and anxious about the future and I thought to myself, ‘You know what, maybe we just do vision boards,’” says Lopez. She bought boards and together they printed out photos to paste on them. “They loved it,” says Lopez. “We worked so hard on those vision boards that weekend and then we all stood up when we were done, and we all explained what our vision boards were … We have them still at the house in Miami.”

And like the rest of the country, the family is trying to adjust to a very different back-to-school season. Max and Emme, who on Tuesday released her children’s book, Lord Help Me, focusing on the power of prayer, are being homeschooled, while Rodriguez’s kids are virtually learning. “We are taking it day-by-day, hoping that this gets under control and they can go back to school very soon.”

To participate in the Yoplait challenge, upload your “Pa Ti” family dance video to Instagram Reels with the hashtag #YoplaitimeDonation by October 30. For every video posted, Yoplait will donate $1 to Feeding America, up to $300,000.

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