Family Dynamics Take a Shift

With my sister coming back from college, I’ve noticed the shift in how my family operates with her at college versus here at home.


My father Robert Rogers, my sister Kendall Rogers, my mother Doris Rogers and I at Kendall's graduation ceremony at the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts May 23.

Kamryn Rogers, Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

Everyone always asked, “Are you going to miss her?” and my answer was always no. My sister and I are very close, but I have never been the type to think that “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” When she, my parents, my godfather and my grandma left to take her to college, I remember not being sad, just anxious to see how the household that once consisted of four members would now operate with only three.

My expectation was one of the two: my parents would either become very laid-back or would watch me like a hawk since I would be there last to leave the nest. To my genuine surprise, my parents stepped back and granted me more independence and self-accountability. 

My sister Kendall Rogers, my cousin Kolby Franklin and I were reunited this past weekend when Kendall came home from college.

For starters, my room, which used to be clean more often than not, has yet to be completely clean in the past three months. My curfew has become virtually nonexistent. And disagreements have simmered into calm discussions. It’s great. Or at least it was.

My sister is currently on a week of Fall Break, and I don’t think it’s harsh to say that I’m counting down the days until she goes back. Again, I feel it’s important that I reiterate that I love my sister, but since her arrival back in Kansas City, the dynamics of my household have taken a turn. 


My mother Doris Rogers, my sister Kendall Rogers and I outside of Kendall’s dorm after seeing her for the first time in two months.


I thought all the attention would be on her and I would just be left to keep up with all the deadlines that encompass senior year. But the other night, I came home from pumpkin carving with my friends to find my dad angrily waiting in the living room. When I asked what was wrong, he proceeded to take my car keys and notified me that I had missed my curfew (this is the same curfew that hadn’t been enforced in the last three months). Confused, I went to my room and reflected on what had just happened.

 I didn’t understand my parents at the moment, but I understand now. With just my parents and me, the atmosphere feels a lot more trusting. In the absence of my sister, I’ve been forced to grow up. My family looked at me not as the little sister, but as the maturing young adult. However, when my sister is here, it’s more of parents versus children dynamic as she reclaims the big sister role. I know I will be sad when she goes back to Villanova University, but I am eager to grow in independence as I enter adulthood.

Me visiting my sister, Kendall Rogers at Villanova University during family weekend.

Adjusting to these new dynamics will continue to be a work in process. However, I still enjoy having my sister back at home. Old traditions like going to the movies and having sleepovers at my grandma’s house are some of my most cherished memories, and with my sister back, I’m able to make new ones.

Though these new changes aren’t the easiest to adjust to, in spite of any dynamic shifts, our familial bond will remain intact.