Why it’s your job to set the tone for your whole family

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It might perhaps be a controversial idea to suggest that it’s your job to set the tone for the whole family but hear me out.  I honestly believe the person who spends the majority of time at the centre of the family is the one who will set the tone for everyone else, regardless of whether you want to or not.


Have you ever noticed how when you’re grumpy, tired and snappy at everyone, your whole family seems to behave like this as well? The kids are arguing with each other every five minutes and can’t seem to leave each other alone.  Your husband is grumbling around the house as well. Maybe even your dog is off somewhere sulking? You might even catch yourself thinking ‘what are they complaining about? I’m the one going through ‘insert current complaint here’.’


Why is this so…?


Because energy and moods are catching.


Don’t believe me?


What about that friend of yours who is really positive and confident, and whenever you catch up with them you walk away feeling good about yourself?  Even if all you did was have a quick 5 minute chat?


Or perhaps you still have that friend who whenever you spend time with them you leave feeling down or overwhelmed without really knowing why?


This is because whenever we spend time with someone we exchange energy, whether that be through conversation, body language, touch or eye-contact.   Your energy and how you’re feeling radiates out of you whether you’re aware of it or not.


Which is why I 100% believe that the person who spends the majority of their time at the centre of the family (i.e usually us Mums) is responsible for setting the tone of the family.


We already know our grumpy energy rubs off on everyone else but what about our good energy?


Can we set our family up with a positive tone instead?


We sure can.. here’s how.


Adjust your own mindset

This is not one you can fake it till you make it  – kids especially can smell a fake good mood a mile away.  You need to take the time you need to yourself to make yourself feel good.  Fill your own cup first with whatever it takes to fill yours (yoga, reading, a walk, a solo bath, a massage) and then you’re able to give to everyone else without resentment. If you feel good – the whole family benefits.


Become body aware

Did you know that the majority of our communication is non-verbal?  Be aware of the message that your body language sends to everyone else in your family – especially little ones who can’t yet talk. They’re reading every message your slumped over posture is sending them.


Interestingly this is one you can fake until you make.  There have been studies shown that just by standing taller you can improve how confident you feel. A yoga practice can help you to feel better about yourself and show you how to use your body to feel more confident, but then – I might be a bit biased. 😉


Watch your words (and your tone)

Have you noticed that your kids manage to perfect the exact rude and demanding voice you have just used to get them to do something with perfect tonality?  (As an aside, why don’t they ever copy the lovely patient voice you use the other 80% of the time?)


Yes our little sponges are soaking up every word and the way we say it so be careful how you speak to them, yourself and your partner because it will inevitably be the way they respond to you. And there is nothing more frustrating than having your four year old demand that you have five seconds to come and play with them and then start counting down from five…four…three…two…one…


I’d love to know your thoughts… do you think it’s your job to set the tone for the whole family?

2 Responses to “Why it’s your job to set the tone for your whole family

  • Beth McKinlay
    7 years ago

    I think you’re spot on. I struggled with this for years because I’m a bit of a lone wolf and it drives me crazy that I’m so fundamentally important to my family’s state. If I’m off my game, it noticeably affects everyone else and I hate being that important. But I’ve just had to try and graciously accept the fact that this is one of the responsibilities of being a parent and it’s made me more confident to insist my own needs are met. It may not be a role I expected but I have learned to enjoy it.

    • Bettina Rae
      7 years ago

      Yes I definitely hear you! I NEED my time to myself so much and I struggle to be everything to everyone else. I think being aware of it helps though, helps to carve out that alone time that you need. x

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