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Family Elements

Family dynamics: how to keep your sh!t together so everyone is happy.

By Kelsey ParkPublished 7 years ago 7 min read

Family has a connection like no other. The members of our families are connected to us through blood, through love, and through sheer will power at times.

Families all have their ups and downs, their good days and bad days, and most importantly, their differences. No two people on this earth are exactly alike. So sometimes even within families, differences of opinion can create a bit of tension from time to time. What is important is that everybody in the family understands where the other one is coming from, why they feel a certain way, and acts accordingly. Communication and understanding are sometimes the only things that keep a family from totally unraveling, so they aren’t really optional.


When it comes to the home, family members each need to do their fair share of the work to keep the place up and running smoothly. This prevents one or two members getting so exhausted that they just want to hide under their blankets and sleep all the time. Home is where everybody comes back to to escape the stress of the day. A supportive and relaxing environment is necessary for everyone in the family to recuperate and grow to meet their full potential. A clean, tidy and well organized home will help everyone to relax at the end of the day.


Obviously, work is important in being able to provide for one’s family. However, quality time spent with loved ones is also very important, so it is imperative that parents make sure they clear some time in their work schedule to spend some quality time with their child(ren). For families where both parents are working, it takes a lot of planning and scheduling to get things to a point where one parent or the other can stay home to be with the child(ren). Sometimes it helps if one parent is working a nine to five job every day, to have the other parent pick up a work from home job. These situations are ideal in some ways because one parent is able to be both a full-time parent and earn a little extra income. In families where both parents work nine to five jobs, a nanny is usually a good way to have the children looked after. This is not always the best course of action though because it limits the time the children have to spend with their parents.


It is important to have enough money to live on comfortably to avoid unneeded stress in the home. It’s also nice, if given the opportunity, to put a little money away for a rainy day, or even a vacation. A budget that includes savings, leisure/entertainment, food, basic needs, shelter, insurance, and schooling is a very good place to start for drawing up a family budget.

It is really important to teach kids the value of money and to show them how to make a budget plan. This will ensure they are well prepared for the responsibility of smart spending when it comes time for them to move out of the house. That way, kids don’t end up sitting there as young adults saying something like, “What? I didn’t know I had to pay for all of this!”


Family activities are really important for families. Activities like going to the park, a weekly trip to the market or even a camping trip, are all really awesome ways of getting to know each other and bond over common grounds. Outings like these also help kids to gain valuable life experience by seeing how their parents handle various situations and by following their examples.

Birthdays and Holidays

Birthdays and holidays can be an extremely busy time for parents and stressful too. Birthdays are indicative of their babies growing up, which can be really scary for some parents because they want their kids to be young and need them forever...or so it would seem. Sometimes the gifts bought for children’s birthdays can make younger kids, like toddlers, jealous, so it may be a good idea to pick up a small gift for them as well when it comes time to birthday shop for an older child.

Holidays can be pleasant for families, but like birthdays, they can also be kind of stressful because they involve a lot of preparation and planning. Sometimes things just never actually go that way the parents have planned, this is when improvisation can work wonders. A good example is when a holiday meal gets burnt, maybe the parents could make the best out of a bad situation and go grab some fast food. Or, the family could make it a bonding experience, making a new meal with the children’s help is probably a lot healthier than fast food, and it will teach them a thing or two about how to “make do.”


It’s always fun going on family endeavors like vacations, camping trips or road trips. The key to having fun with things like this, as a family, is to make sure that you are well prepared. Planning is the biggest step you can take towards being prepared for a family travelling experience. So if you’re going camping or going on a road trip, make a checklist of everything that you will need for the trip, and don’t leave home until it is all packed and ready to go. Also, make sure to double check everything, just to be sure nothing important gets forgotten.

When travelling by bus or airplane, it is always a good idea to pack a little more of the stuff you need, just in case your luggage gets lost or misplaced along the way. This will come as a blessing, if that situation ever does befall you, because you and your family won’t be stuck having to go and purchase more of the things you need while you wait for the luggage situation to be sorted out.

Most of the time, if the trip involves many hours in the car, it may be a good idea to teach the kids some games that can be played while you’re driving to your destination. Games like I Spy and Guess that Sight are great to keep kids from getting a bad case of the backseat blues.


Pets are a great way to teach children responsibility and give them a sense of independence. When a family is looking to get a pet, it is always a good idea to do your research. This way, parents can choose a pet that their child will enjoy having around, as well as a pet that their children can handle the responsibility of caring for on a daily basis.

A really good idea for starter pet is a fish because they do not need to be taken for walks, nor do they need an extreme amount of attention to be happy. Just be sure to teach the child the importance of not over feeding their pet fish, because the fish is not likely to live long if it is over fed. Most animals that dwell in a cage or aquarium are okay prospects for starter pets. However, with rodents, there is always a slight risk of an escape as well as a potential for bites, which can really hurt a child. Another good choice is a cat; they are cuddly, affectionate and require much less care than a dog. Many kids want a pet that they can cuddle with, and cats are great for this. For families where there are members who suffer from pet allergies, there are breeds of cats that are deemed “hypoallergenic.” These hypoallergenic cats may be a little pricey, however, if a cat is the desired pet, these non-allergy bearing cats are a great option.


Parents should always realize the importance of being organized when it comes to their family and the way things are run in the household. Some great ideas to help things run smoothly are:

  • Chore charts for the children, so that everybody knows what their responsibilities are and when they need to be done.
  • Reward systems, for when kids do extra things around the house that they are not asked to do; Extra TV time, a special outing or a little extra allowance money, are some suggestions for rewards that will surely feel rewarding to the child and make them want to help out again in the future.

Discipline Charts

Outlining what negative behaviours are and what the punishments will be helps kids to follow the rules. It also helps them to know what the consequences of their actions are should they choose to break those rules.

Discipline charts can and should be done with the child’s input. This lets them know that their say is important to the parents, and it also gives parents a good look inside their child’s brain, to help them see how their child makes sense of things. This is not saying that parents should ultimately let their kids decide punishments for themselves; it means that the parents should take what their children suggest into consideration.

Family is a complicated thing, an everlasting juggling act, if you will. As busy and difficult as life can be sometimes, it’s always of extreme importance that each family member knows that their family will be there for them, come hell or high water.

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About the Creator

Kelsey Park

I'm an artist for all intents and purposes. Beading, writing, painting and momming like a boss are just some of my hobbies 😊

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    Kelsey  ParkWritten by Kelsey Park

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