Family Togetherness is the Heart of Successful Home Economics

Patricia Ann Jacobsen 

Image by Smithsonian Institution via Flickr

The national economic crisis affects home economics for newly weds, children, and families. Key findings of the American Psychological Association (APA) annual Stress in America™ survey show money, work and the economy are principle stressors.

Parents overwhelmingly cite family responsibilities as stressors. However, less than 1 in 3 parents believe they successfully manage stress.  Reports show the majority of parents are unaware that their children are affected by their stress. Yet, 1 out of 3 children report duress, including insomnia, lack of exercise, and poor eating.

Challenging economic times provide teachable moments for families. Parents can role model healthy home economics management strategies. Successful home economics strategies include healthy eating, sleeping, exercising, coping, budgeting and spending.

Poor parental communication is linked to poor decision making by children. Experts advise adults to use economic challenges as communication opportunities rather than threats. Communicate about home expenses, reducing spending, and the importance of budgeting skills.

Family togetherness and rituals are important. Choose inexpensive and free family activities, such as board games. Use regular meal times as events for healthy, affordable eating and communication. Take walks for family fitness. Invest in APA-recommended marriage programs such as Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program.

The Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection provides free scam alerts about home, coupons, and mortgages. Guidance covers home loans, buying and selling timeshares, and vacation plans.

Internet DIY resources reduce home expenses when you create, buy or sell items. Sites include Etsy, Ebay, and DeviantArt. Recycle This, ThreadBanger, DoItYourself, Freecycle.org, Chore Wars, and CNET offer free or low-cost resources.

Family home economics can include online exchange and barter networks such as Half.com to sell or swap.

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