Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, others are small. Some are separated (for whatever reasons) and others are unified. Most people think that families just happen, that they just get on with it and they either get on well and work, or they don’t. Many people believe that there is nothing they can do about their chaotic family lives, or the fact that family members aren’t getting on well with one another. The truth is that you have a lot of control when it comes to managing your family and the way it works. Families that work well are normally families that are managed well. Family management does not mean rigid rules and lack of fun and spontaneity. In fact, family management actually frees the family up for more fun and quality time together.
The benefits of having a well managed family include:
- Good family management actually brings family members closer and creates opportunities for parents and siblings to get on well with one another.
- Family management decreases family stress and helps members be more organised in general. Less stress means more wellbeing and happiness in general.
- Instead of rigid rules, family management offers guidelines for behaviour and helps parents regulate and deal with children’s behaviours.
- When your family is well managed it provides you with more time and makes the most of your finances.
- When you have more time available to you, then your family has more opportunity to spend quality time together and be spontaneous.
The basics to managing your family include effective communication between family members, having routines that are followed by all family members, sharing tasks and chores, showing affection to one another and responding to one another in gentle and respectful ways. If you are concerned about how your family members get along, or would like some assistance in adjusting how your family is managed, give us a call and speak with one of our psychologists.
The benefits of a well managed family are clear. It creates time for family members to spend with one another, allows family members to relate better with each other, and generally decreases family stress. Just how do we manage our family well?
The first step is to create clear channels of communication between all family members. Establish respectful ways of dealing with family issues and allow children the space to be able to discuss their concerns, dislikes and desires with adults. Try not to exclude children from family meetings and decisions, and set clear boundaries regarding how you will speak to each other about issues that arise.
Well managed families have clear routines and rituals to help family life move along smoothly. Routines include the activities you do in the mornings and afternoon/evenings. They include activities that happen on a regular basis, e.g. soccer on saturday and dinner at grandparents on Friday night, or who takes the kids to school and who fetches them. Establishing good routines allows for predictability and, therefore, stability. It also creates times in which the family will get to spend quality time together, e.g. eating meals together.
Rituals are routines that are special and specific to your family. Perhaps this includes a special vacation once a year, or the way in which you celebrate birthdays or religious holidays. Rituals are important as they create a sense of belonging and foster opportunities to enjoy time together as well.
Family members of well managed families also share tasks and chores. There are always things that need to get done in a family. Sharing the load can reduce stress on any one person, and allows family members more spare time together. It is important for children to share some of the responsibility for household chores as it provides a sense of belonging and competence, but make sure they are age-appropriate.
Lastly, effective families share affection and respect with one another. It is important to let those close to you know how much you care for them. In such a way you ‘spread the love’ and the more love that is spread in the family, the more love will be felt in the long term.
If you are concerned about how your family members get along, or would like some assistance in adjusting how your family is managed, give us a call and speak with one of our psychologists.