Being forced away from a known safe environment into new unknown surroundings is scary no matter what your age is, Cheaper by the Dozen shows that throughout the movie. With the children’s ages ranging from a senior in high school to early grade school, Kate and Tom must provide a familiar environment at home to allow for a smooth move. By offering a strong emotional foundation with household chores, the children can rely on each other’s task to get through the day. Studies show that children with a strong socioemotional base, can overcome large life events in a swift manner such as the example I am talking about with Cheaper by the Dozen.
A strong united household can be seen on various levels and in different manners weather mentally, physically or emotionally. Throughout the current day and age, this is a topic that is highly recognized and has received attention by researches and journalists. Sharon Bzostek states in her journal article that there is a connection between the emotional state of children and their involvement to the family. Bzostek relates the well-being of children to the stability that the parents create within the household from a young age, allowing for a strong socioemotional foundation. While Bzostek primarily focuses on the absences of parental figures and how that plays a role within the nurturing aspect, I believe it can be used in the opposite manner. For example, there are few times throughout the film that a younger sibling was not able to reach Tom, Kate or an older sibling for advice or comfort, so they turned to each other for comfort. One time this happened was when Mark Baker, one of the more studious children in the family, lost his pet frog. When Tom and Kate were dealing with other issues in the family, he turned to one of his siblings to help look and eventually found it.
From the beginning of the film, Tom and Kate both demonstrate strong parenting styles with an iron fist while simultaneously being an open book for their children. Tom’s often immature sense of humor is relatable to the children making his “bad cop” mentality mean more when it occurs. Kate was hardly seen taking a
front seat approach to punishing the kids, exemplifying stereotypical maternal instincts. As parents, they could be the kid’s best friends but also punishers if need be, making the development of all twelve children unique.
Throughout my experience growing up as the youngest child, I have realized that the emotional stability can affect the dynamics of the household. When my family moved, we moved across the county over during the summer before starting high school. With starting a new school and in a new house, I was emotionally unsure at what the future was going to hold. Certain aspects of my daily life never changed, giving me a strong foundation for the other aspects that had changed so drastically. Without my parents holding me to the same standards during the move, I was able to adjust fairly quickly and began to make friends through school and sports teams.