Why Minimizing Household Drama is Best for a Family
Raising a family is tough, there’s no doubt about that. When we think about all of the hard work that goes into raising a family, we typically think of the financial support needed to make sure every family member (especially the kids) stay fed, clothed, and that everyone has a comfy and cozy place to sleep at night. In other words, we’re often thinking about making sure our families have the bare necessities.
We know that providing children with the basic necessities is important for their overall health and quality of life. No one wants to see their children growing up in total squalor.
That’s why you and your partner break your backs all day at your job (or at least one of you do). You simply work to provide for your family (and it’s certainly necessary that you eat as well).
But there is another difficulty that’s bound to arise when you have a family, and many people might not realize it at first.
That difficulty is family drama within your household, and that’s an entirely different beast to tame in addition to making sure everyone has what they need to live. Not only do you need to work hard to make sure your family is well-cared for on the most basic of levels, but you have to remember that it’s important for everyone to be emotionally healthy as well.
When family drama is running rampant throughout your household, no one is going to have the emotional health that’s imperative to a good quality of life—the quality of life that allows you and your family to flourish as opposed to just getting by.
In fact, while we shouldn’t discount the importance of baseline financial support, it’s important for us to understand that emotional necessities are just as important for making sure everyone has the basic necessities.
It may sound kind of crazy, because you feel that feeding mouths probably takes precedence over making sure your kids are emotionally nourished, but the two don’t necessarily need to be separated.
If you’re trying your hardest to feed your family, you may not think that there’s much importance to ensuring that your family and household properly functions as a healthy unit. Even though you have to provide your family with basic needs, you also have to make sure everyone’s emotional needs are met. If you let drama take over your household—and make no attempts to minimize it—you’re not going to be able to do that.
How does household drama start?
Family and household drama can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Household drama can include dysfunctional relationships between you and your children, a tense relationship with your partner, or even an unhealthy relationship between your partner and the kids. Basically, anything that creates chaos or tension within your family (whether it comes from an outside source or not) can be put under the umbrella of household drama.
In addition to basic relationships within the family and interactions at home, you might find that your children are performing poorly at school (or that they’re unruly in the classroom), that your children aren’t getting along with other children, or that your kids just can’t seem to get along with each other.
It may not seem that what your children do outside your home would be considered household drama, but any issues your children are having will most likely spill over into your home life, which in turn creates instability in the household.
The same can apply to any problems your partner might be having at work. If your partner is unable to keep a steady job, or has trouble performing well at work—this too will certainly have an effect on the way your family functions.
And of course, any issues you’re having on the job can affect your home life as well.
What you have to remember is that when you have a family, almost everything you do is going to affect your family in one way or another.
With a family, you’re not responsible for just yourself, you’re responsible for everyone in the household. That doesn’t mean that what goes on within your household is solely your responsibility, but the choices you make and the way you choose to live your life plays a part into how your family operates—whether that means operating successfully or not.
When drama overtakes the household
If you’re in the midst of any family or household drama, you’ll probably know it. Consistent arguments between any members of your family is usually a pretty good indicator that drama is beginning to get a tight grip on your family life.
Sure, arguments are going to pop up in the household from time to time, but you can officially say you’ve entered the drama realm when these arguments happen every day—and when the arguments tend to be heated, escalate rather quickly, or are continually about the same subject.
Let’s say your kid is considered a problem child at school. Maybe her grades are poor, or she constantly harasses or provokes other students (or even her teachers). Typically, if a kid is having trouble in school, a parent is notified, and it becomes the parent’s responsibility to rectify the issue.
Now, maybe if your kid is in fact perpetually having issues in school (academic or behavioral), and you continue to confront your child about it and she just blows her top every time, it’s safe to say that you’re officially dealing with household drama.
How the drama affects you
You’ll probably feel like your authority has been undermined, that all is hopeless, and you might even question your ability as a parent. In this instance, maybe you turn to your partner for some guidance, but your partner has no guidance to offer. Maybe, you go to your partner and instead of receiving support, you just get fits of anger from your partner.
Now you’re in a position where you have an issue with your child, and this issue has now created a problem with your partner. So, the issue went from your child not doing well at school, to an argument with your kid, to an argument with your partner. A handful of incidents that occur outside your home have officially taken hold of your family life.
In an instance such as this, it may seem as if you can’t seem to get your kid or your partner to respect you, and that can definitely take a toll on your self-esteem. What began as a school issue, now appears to have wrecked all that you work so hard to keep intact every day. When what you try to build continually falls apart, you’re definitely going to question all your efforts—and that’s going to make you question your capabilities as both a parent and individual.
If you’re in a situation such as this, and you don’t know how to get yourself out of it, it might just perpetuate the drama. That’s not to say that because you feel lost at some point that everything is only going to go downhill, but if you let it get the best of you the drama is guaranteed to spiral out of control.
You have to be strong, and most importantly, you have to again remember that how you react to the drama and how you handle it is going to play a big part in how your family either overcomes the drama or succumbs to it—causing your family foundation to crumble and collapse.
How the drama affects your family
So, at this point you probably understand that your approach to addressing the drama is going to affect whether or not the drama continues. Let’s say you choose to not address it at all—that you just sit on the sidelines and watch as everything falls apart.
You may say to yourself “Well, that’s my kid’s problem, not mine.”
But you have to remember that your kid’s problems are indeed your problems (the same goes with your partner). A family can only function when every member realizes that their actions affect every other family member.
It’s important to keep in mind that the family unit works more or less as a feedback loop: if your kid is stressed, you’ll be stressed; if your stressed, your kid will probably feel that stress and maybe internalize it; if your partner is upset, you tend to get upset.
If you want to keep family drama to a minimum, you have to realize that every action that anyone takes, or any choice that anyone makes—it’s going to have some sort of consequence for all of you.
Moreover, these consequences aren’t simply just perpetual arguing. Yes, if you do nothing to mitigate any drama the tension will persist. But, you have to think about how you (and your family) feels when the arguing never ends.
Why minimizing family drama is important
If your family is constantly in a state of crisis, it can make you feel like a bad parent, or it can make your child feel as if she’s a bad child—as if there is something wrong with her.
Now, there may in fact be times where something might be more or less wrong with your child (in the case of extreme behavioral issues), but you still don’t want your kid to feel as if she is inherently flawed in one way or another. When your kid feels she isn’t good enough, that’s going to affect the way she interacts with the world.
Really, it doesn’t matter whether it’s your kid or your partner or you. When anybody questions themselves due to the intensities of perpetual household drama, general self-worth and confidence will plummet.
Less drama is nice simply for the fact that the drama is nonexistent, but minimizing drama is important because it affects how everyone in your family views themselves and their role within your family unit.
If any single member of your family is struggling with their own unique role, then the whole bonds and foundation of the family will disintegrate.
How can you expect anyone in your family to trust each other if they feel as if the rest of the family is an enemy? If everyone bickers and spews hate or feels unwanted or unloved, then the whole point behind having a family to begin with is lost.
Minimizing drama isn’t just about reducing your level of stress. Doing away with family drama is about keeping your family afloat and making sure that you stay a family.
What it means to be a family
A family is more than just parents and children. Anyone can have a child, or anyone can have a sibling, but is it really a family if no one appreciates each other—if all there is constant animosity and anger?
Family bonds are built on trust, mutual respect, and everlasting and unconditional love. In all honesty, it’s not always easy to remember that. But when your eyes are blinded by the anguish and confusion caused by family drama, you have to think about why you started a family in the first place.
You want your kids to be more than just mouths to feed, and you want your kids to think that you’re more than just a simple means to an end. You and your partner act as leaders of your precious family unit, and you have to remember that it’s your strength that’s going to enable your family to flourish. And we have to remember here, flourishing is not the same thing as getting by.
Familial success means that everyone is happy—content and comfortable in their own skin, and comfortable with one another. Sure, you’re going to encounter ups and downs all of the time; it just comes with the territory. So, you should never think that just because you encounter a few bumps along the road that you shouldn’t have been on the road to begin with.
Yes, family drama will arise, but you don’t have to let it dominate your life. You just have to remember what it means to have a family, to be a family, and why that’s important to you. It isn’t always easy, but when you and your family grow and thrive together, it’s truly a beautiful thing.