• Amy Orlovich

The Family Dance: Is It Beautiful or a Mess?

There are a pair of ballet pointe shoes on my desk at home. My daughters dance, and I love watching them perform. Performances are the result of practice and hard work, and very beautiful. All of the girls on the stage know their part and work together to make a beautiful collage of moving pieces that make up one dance.


In life, all families have a dance. The family dance is practiced and every family member plays a part. Depending on how one member behaves, the tone can be set for the entire family in a positive or negative way. One person usually leads, and the rest follow. This can be a positive experience or a negative one. For example, someone comes home grumpy from a stressful day and the rest of the family walks on egg shells. This can further frustrate the grumpy person sending the family on a downward spiral of emotions for the night.


Conversely, a family member can come home thrilled due to terrific news, and this can create euphoria for the family. Where the family dance gets tricky is when one family member does not want to play the same part anymore. Often, this happens when a child grows up and moves out of the house and experiences other “dances”. They come home for a visit realizing that they don’t like their family’s dance anymore.


What is your family dance? Are you the button pusher, the peace maker, or do you bury your head in the sand? Decide what positive role you want to play to provide a more healthy atmosphere in your home. Then, take small steps toward achieving that goal. You never know who may join you in your new dance.

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